Wednesday, January 30, 2013

day 5 bishkek

There is a large Turkish influence here in Bishkek. Don't ask me how it is identified or what a Turk looks like but one thing that i can say for sure is that the food is outstanding. Many who know me well know that the only prerequisite for evaluating a good restaurant is an open sign in the front window. The food offerings in this city are amazing. To describe them properly would be difficult. Typically much lighter than American fare, they usually consist or a rice or noodle base covered with thinly sliced and lightly spiced beef or chicken. Vegetables and a light sauce mixed in. Portions are moderate making it difficult to overindulge. Also walking everywhere certainly helps to burn the calories. As with most European diets snacking between meals does not seem to be so prevalent. I have made a conscience effort to try something new at each sitting, one of my favorites being manti. Similar to a dumpling stuffed with goodies.
manti    very good

inside turkish resturant

my entree rice yogurt stromboli 

horse meat sausage

beef for sale

I also had the privilege of visiting the Osh bizzare today. How do I describe this??? Anything and everything one could possible need packed into about 3 city blocks of metal storage containers with plastic sheeting covering the narrow walkways in between. The most riveting of areas were the fresh meat and chicken vendors with there wares of freshly slaughtered horse and chicken. I did take some photos of this but i was getting a little nervous towards the end. (dirty looks). Also a few pictures of my favorite grandchild.

bishkek day 4

A foggy and overcast day on the horizon for this day 4 in bishkek. It is certainly the coldest of days so far as my daughter will attest to. I even wore my gloves. A some what strange phenomenon with the local women is there insistence to impart a sort of scolding on anyone deemed to be not caring for there infant child correctly. At several corners the babushka would stop Kirstin to insure that all of Darwin's bodily parts were covered or to challenge her decision to even bring him out into the cold at all. I found this some what comical, Kirstin did not.

We took the opportunity this day to tour what would be the equivalent to our white house in the U.S. The government has endured 2 separate and successful overthrows in the last 9 years. One much bloodier than the other. The most recent revolution happened right before Kirstin and Farrell moved here so they really did not have a chance to experience any change. More random pictures to enjoy as my time here winds down.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bishkek Day 3

Another beautiful day in Central Asia. A much cooler and drizzly start did not deter us from packing up Darwin, piling him in the stroller and braving the frozen back streets to head towards the main downtown shopping district. By most peoples standards this is a very walkable city for the most part, although much of the city sidewalks are in varying stages of disrepair. One must always be concerned of what is under foot,what little walkways that are left change from loose gravel to pavers to mud to ice to pavement to puddles of slush. What is funny to note are the very high fashion ladies continually wiping off there shoes at the end of every block after having navigated 30 meters of muck and mud.
Many of these photos taken today are inside of what we might consider a grocery/department store. Take special note of the baked goods, hot out of the oven. I was scolded by a store employee for snapping these pictures.

Legal tender in Bishkek is the som. Currently 47.5 som equals one dollar. The price tag on everything seems ridiculously high but do the math. A tea cup that sell for 170 som is about $3.25. All the weights are in kilograms, 2.2 kilos =1pound. Many consumables that we can purchase at a very reasonable cost are extremely expensive here. Clothing,shoes, cookware, appliances and just about everything we buy and use on an everyday basis is relatively high priced compared to this countries cost of living. Some of the things that i have noticed to be very inexpensive are rent, restaurants and utilities. I asked Farrell what it costs to heat the compound?  about $50.00 U.S. Taxis are very cheap as well. When travelling further away or spending an extended weekend somewhere  they are expected to hire the driver with his car for the entire time, including paying for his meals and lodging. A far cry from the U.S. for sure. This is the absolute least expensive way to travel inside the country. More tomorrow

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 2 Bishkek

We all kind of slept late this morning due somewhat to the fact that we were out late last night and are still getting over jet lag. We did however except an invitation from some friends to visit a local bazaar. We would call this a flea market, except for the fact that there were no tables and everything was set on plastic sheets on ice. It appears that for the lack of consumable goods just about everything, broken or not, is available for sale. Clothing ,boots, movies(all black market) car parts, machine tools and the like. Old cameras,nesting dolls,watches, batteries, almost anything you could use. No live stock though. Most of the rest of the day was spend hanging out with more friends and snacking on more food that i could not pronounce but enjoyed anyway.

Day 1 in Bishkek

First full day in Bishkek consisted mostly of getting over the 8000 mile 12 hour flight. The first leg leaving from new york to moskow, the second from moskow to bishkek. Darwin was very well behaved for the most part. We were very lucky in that neither flight was very crowded, we all had plenty of room to spread out. A few words about this rental house in Bishkek. House does not due this place justice, this is a compound. The main entrance through the outer concrete and steel fence is a solid steel door with a monitoring camera to check on your guests before you can buzz them through. The house itself is constructed of solid concrete walls. There are 3 levels consisting of a 1st floor featuring an inlaw suite of a bedroom, living room, storage and bath. The second floor was a dining room , 2 offices, kitchen, bath, and a sunspace. The 3rd floor has 2 bedrooms, living room and bath. There is also an indoor  pool room with showers and a sauna. Gardens and fruit trees abound. A 3 car carport and an outdoor covered kitchen are also included. Not a bad setup for $1500.monthly. The square feet has got to be close to 3000.

We did venture out twice for lunch and then dinner. Lunch was turkish dinner was chinese. For dinner we met up with 2 friends, one from France, one from the U.S. After dinner we made our way to a Russian nightclub and were treated to a heavy metal local cover band featuring motley crew, deep purple and of all groups bon jovi. It was very loud and smoke filled but not too bad. Here are some random picture of the house and ground. enjoy.