Archive sections: ‘Life In Kyrgyzstan’

Sometimes, people jokingly tell me that after twenty one years here in Kyrgyzstan, I have become Kyrgyz … or at least half-Kyrgyz. After five years it is possible to apply for a residence permit – which I have done – or even for a Kyrgyz passport … but, as that involves giving up my British […]

Monday, July 25th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Saying ‘No’

It was on July 13th, 1871, that the world’s first cat show was held in London’s Crystal Palace. Apparently, some sources say it was held on the 12th or , on the 16th, but contemproary press reports actually support the 13th. It also has to be admitted that some sources suggest that the very first […]

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Cat show

When I first came to Kyrgyzstan, one of the things I noticed was the number of people eating ‘birdseed’. I admit … it seemed very strange. They would take a seed in their fingers … put it between their teeth … crack the husk and eat the kernel, spitting the husk out.  Some people took […]

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Semechki – Sunflower seeds

In the early days of the tour company, we used to give tourists advice to: Watch your step:  The pavements, (sidewalk or footpaths – depending on wether you speak American Englilsh or British English), tend to be uneven with unexpected dips and rises … and there may be potholes or missing manhole covers … so […]

Monday, July 11th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Pavements – Watch your step!

I was wondering why there had been a spate of reports in the media about the construction boom here in Kyrgyzstan – or, more specifically here in the capital, Bishkek. In theory, this is all controlled, regulated, supervised and monitored by the authorities – the local authorities, the state inspectorates.  There is a grand Master […]

Friday, July 8th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Town planning

Over the weekend, I went up to Naryn … to visit the guesthouse and do some paperwork.  I had a list of things to do and questions to ask … and we hadn’t gone more than a couple of kilometers when a thought struck me. I sat up … and cried, “Stop the car!” I […]

Monday, July 4th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Pechat – The all important stamp

It probably won’t come as a surprise to people who know me but, back in my youth, when I was a student, I was a member of the college Debating Society.  I wasn’t that I was any good at it … I was more of a spectator than a participant, but I did enjoy the […]

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Plastic bags …

Today, a couple of my acquaintances are leaving Bishkek to go and live in Russian. In a way, I quite envy them because they are going to live in St. Petersburg which, (although I have never been there), I am told and understand to be a beautiful city. They are local, from Kyrgyzstan, and although they […]

Friday, July 1st, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Keeping in touch

According to one calendar website, today is Fresh Veggies Day … and tomorrow Eat your Vegetables Day. There are virtually no additional details about where these days originated … who thought of them and why … apart from the suggestion that they were celebrated in the early summer “when the tastiest new-season vegetables start to become […]

Thursday, June 16th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Veggies

Because I have been here for over twenty years, people often ask me about the changes I have observed in that time. My answer usually starts with something like, “There have been lots of changes, and in many ways it was a different world,” and then concentrates on three examples: the number of vehicles on […]

Sunday, June 12th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Changing Times : Methods of payment