Monday, October 13, 2008

Bishkek baby!

So they say that when Kyrgyz men go over to Russia for work, they cram as many guys as possible into a tiny little apartment, to save cash to send back home. Apparently, there's two different rates for accomodation in these flats. You can pay 50 roubles and sleep on your back, or 25 and sleep on your side.

In keeping with this fine Kyrgyz tradition, my accomodation in Bishkek for the past week and a half has been the delightful strip of floor between the foot of Chris and Grisha (the rentpayers) beds, and the wall. With the only remaining section of useable floor in our one bedroom ex-soviet flat taken up by Marcus the Finnish Hitchhiker, extreme caution must be exercised when waking to use the bathroom at night.

Bishkek is a brillliantthis time food is not the number one reason for my opinion on the subject. Somehow the last week and a half have vanished into a vortex of good times and great people that have made the town feel like home, even though I don't speak the language, can't read most street signs, and have developed the ability to get lost on a regular basis in the streets.

My main reason for hanging about Bishkek was to collect visas. Visa collection is not like collecting stamps or records or butterflies. Those things are fun, at least for some people. Visa collection is like a little bit like stubbing your toe on the edge of a chair, then taking a step back and slamming your toe into the chair again, and again, and again. If you continue to slam your toe effectively, sometimes you get a sticker in your passport that lets you into the next country. I ended up scraping through with 50% of the visas I wanted, no thanks the the lazy bloody Tajik travel agent who never sent through my paperwork...

My relatively unsuccessful visa escapade more than compensated by the copious amount of fun times and good people. In two weeks I was introduced to the worlds of (in no particular order); Dutch street art, American wit (or lack thereof), Lomography, Finnish eccentricity, Turkmen activism, Russian Beatles tribute bands, US pro street skating, Kyrgyz drum n bass, Jam making, Dairy production and the feline reincarnation of Buddha. Not bad for a small central asian city!

So after 2 weeks of kicking back and relaxing, it's back on the road with F.Y. for more adventures. The weather is getting very cold very quick, which promises to make things a little more exciting.

There's new photos up in the gallery, and more stories coming soon.

1 comment:

Nazy said...

ummmmm WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE SUPER RAD BLACK-RIMMED SPECS MR.?!?! Im glad you're trekking across the world on a bike as a hipster