Postcards – by date

Update: May 1st, 2015

2008 and before

2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

Photogalleries:

2010

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

The following Photo galleries were added:

2011

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

also

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012 
November 2012 

December 2012

Also,
  • Some Inspiration for New Year’s Resolutions – it’s the time when we look back over the past year and make resolutions about what we might do differently in the one to come … so I look at some of the inspirational things that have come my way recently – 01/01/13
  • Relics – Peter and Fevronia – After some delay, the relics of two more saints are delivered to Bishkek … but, just who were Peter and Fevronia – 02/01/13
  • Kemin Earthquake – 1911 – On January 3rd, 1911 – Kemin experienced what was probably one of the strongest to ever strike at the center of a continent – 03/01/13
  • Saying “Hello” – It’s not easy getting acquainted in Kyrgyzstan – 04/01/13
  • The Prague Spring – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan: – 05/01/13
  • Spherical Panoramas of the Naryn Guesthouse – Some views of our gouesthouse in Naryn .. with a little history in the commentary – 06/01/13
  • Seasonal films – On the occasion of Orthodox Christmas, I took a look at the films on offer on local TV over the holiday period – 07/01/13
  • A Tax Minefield – trying to navigate a course through the Kyrgyz tax system – 08/01/13
  • Bomsh – a “sarky” comment about my needing a shave got me thinking about the homeless in Kyrgyzstan – 09/01/13
  • Kyrgyzstan’s Railway Network – On the 150th anniversary of the opening of the London Underground I took a look at Kyrgyzstan’s somewhat limited rail network … we don’t have a Metro – although, at one time, one was mooted for Bishkek. – 10/01/13
  • Spasibo – Rahkmat – It’s more than just a courtesy – saying Thank You on International Thank You Day – 11/01/13
  • The National Trust –  the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan: – 12/01/13
  • Rooms at the Naryn Guesthouse – The rooms are obviously an important aspect of running a guesthouse … but life is never simple – 13/01/12
  • New Year, New Week … New Start  – It’s Stariy Noviy God, (Old New Year), and I take the opportunity the it is also Clear Your Desk Day to make a Old New Year’s Resolution  – 14/01/12
  • Wikipedia – to commemorate the anniversary of the launch of the internet encyclopedia, I took a look at its influence here in Kyrgyzstan – 15/01/12
  • Getting down to work – a couple of articles in Britain’s Daily Telegraph sparked these thoughts on the “work ethic” – 16/01/12
  • Wow spelt backwards is … – Customer Service Day is all about giving the Wow experience – 17/01/12
  • School museums – A report in a local newspaper described an interesting aspect of the Soviet Heritage in Kyrgyzstan – 18/01/12
  • Virus – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan: – 19/01/13
  • Festivals – describing some festivals in Kyrgyzstan in 2013 that are well worth a visit – 20/01/13
  • KSE – The Kyrgyz Stock Exchange – on the anniversary of Black Monday in 2008, I take a brief look at the Kyrgyz Stock Exchange – 21/01/13
  • Crosses and Icons – a new museum and exhibition at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral – 22/01/13
  • Russian Cursive script makes me want to cry – if Doctor’s handwriting is supposed to be indecipherable … you should try reading one in Russian – 23/01/13
  • Mailuu Suu – A town with a chequered legacy in Southern Kyrgyzstan – 24/01/13
  • Mercury and Antimony – Most people have heard of the liquid metal, Mercury, … but Antimony? – 25/01/13
  • Down Under – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 26/01/13
  • Cuisine Tour – A tour itinerary giving a taste of Kyrgyzstan – 27/01/13
  • Toru Aigyr – A village on the Northern Shore of Lake Issyk Kul with a sense of history and its own place in legend- 28/01/13
  • A warning from the MChS – following a warning issued by the Ministry of Emergency Situations, I try to answer the questions who are they? and what they do? – 29/01/13
  • School reports – One of the aspects of the Kyrgyz education system that took a lot of getting used to – 30/01/13
  • The daughter of Soviet Kyrgyzstan – to commemorate Inspire your heart with Art Day, I took a look at one of the most important paintings in Kyrgyz history – 31/01/13

February 2013

  •  Langston Hughes – although he may not have actually made it to Kyrgyzstan, the American poet’s interesting and informative, (if somewhat rose-tinted), account of his visit to Central Asia in the early days of the Soviet Union is still a good read – 01/02/13
  • Groundhog Day – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 02/02/13
  • Crossing Torugart – At the moment, those people wanting to travel the Silk Road overland, they basically have to travel through Kyrgyzstan and the most frequent route takes them across the Torugart Pass – 03/02/13
  • Facebook – On February 4th, 2004, a new social networking site was launched that connects people, to keep up with friends, upload photos, share links and videos : Facebook, which has become the leading social networking platform here in Kyrgyzstan – 4/02/13
  • The Family Frunze – to mark the anniversary of the change of name to Bishkek from Frunze, I took a look at the members of the relatives of the General – 05/02/13
  • Samsa – an example of typical “Street Food” here in Kyrgyzstan – 06/02/13
  • Kambar – the first Komuzist – the legend of Kambar, who is supposed to have invented the archetypal Kyrgyz musical instrument: The Komuz – 07/02/13
  •  Locked in – a description of how I found myself locked in the office when the key broke off in the lock – and how I eventually released myself … just another day – 08/02/13
  • A name to watch for … – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 09/02/13
  • Snakes – To commemorate Chinese New Year, the Year of the Snake, I took a look at the snakes that can be encountered here in Kyrgyzstan – 10/02/13
  • Jigsaws, timetables and planning an itinerary – putting together a tour can be a complex, time consuming and  difficult task – like doing a jigsaw puzzle or compiling a school timetable – 11/02/13
  • Darwin Day – commemorating the birth of Charles Darwin on 12th February, 1809, which is intended to give an opportunity to highlight his contribution to science and to promote science in general, it seemed an opportune moment to consider the biological sciences in Kyrgyzstan – 12/02/13
  • Chatyr Kul – the Celestial Lake – the third largest – and one of the highest at 3530 meters above sea level, in Kyrgyzstan – 13/02/13
  • MiG – One of the most striking of Bishkek’s monuments is a MiG fighter rising over Kievskaya in the city center – 14/02/13
  • The other D-Day – on December 15th, 1971, Britain experienced D-Day – abandoning the time honoured system of pounds, shillings and pence and adopting a decimal currency so I took the opportunity to explore some monetary facts – 15/02/13
  • An Aladdin’s cave of treasures – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 16/02/13
  • From Seven Bulls to Golden Springs – One of the most popular destinations in Kyrgyzstan – but its never crowded – 17/02/13
  • Catholicism in Kyrgyzstan – The Pope, (Rimskiy Papa), shocked the world last week … and what of his flock in Kyrgyzstan?: – 18/02/13
  • The Kokand Khanate – On February 19th, 1876, Tsar Alexander II annexed the Kokand Khanate and thus completing the process of the Kyrgyz becoming subjects of the Russian Empire – 19/02/13
  • Domkom – An important portmanteau word, describing an important “person”; chairman of the House Committee – 20/02/13
  • International Mother Language Day – another one of those special, United Nations designated days which has been celebrated every year since 2000 and gave me a chance to consider the place and growing importance of the Kyrgyz language – 21/02/13
  • Kyrgyzstan’s Cats – It’s not an official holiday, but in Japan 22nd February is commemorated as Cat Day., and so it seemed an appropriate occasion to look at felis Kyrgyzstanus – Kyrgyzstan’s native cats – 22/02/13
  • Two sides of the coin … – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 23/02/13
  • On the back of a man’s wings – Horse riding is a popular activity on tours to Kyrgyzstan – 24/02/13
  • Red and Black – Here in Kyrgyzstan, these are not just colours but also refer to the two sides in law enforcement – 25/02/13
  • Occupancy – Why I think that a newly proposed tax for resorts in Issyk Kul is based on a misconception – 26/02/13
  • Friendly Steppes – A newly published book describes a journey in the footsteps of Marco Polo along the Great Silk Road … including Kyrgyzstan – 27/08/13
  • Scrap Merchants – Kyrgyzstan’s reputation as the Steptoe of Cebtral Asia – 28/28/13

March 2013

  • Fassol – A staple of the British diet, which may have been grown here in Kyrgyzstan – 01/03/13
  • Membership has its benefits – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 02/03/13
  • Boat trips on Lake Issyk Kul – A popular excursion on many tours – 03/03/13
  • Mini Sagas – It’s not always easy to be concise – 04/03/13
  • Coronet Peak – One of the peaks near Bishkek – 05/03/13
  • Tien Shan Brown Bear – One of the residents of the mountains of Kyrgyzstan – 06/03/13
  • The Naryn River – Kyrgyzstan’s longest river, the source of the Syr Darya – 07/03/13
  • Men altymysh zhashtamyn – to mark a personal jubilee – my 60th birthday – I take a look at age in Kyrgyz traditional culture – 08/03/13
  • Exterminate! Exterminate! – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 09/03/13
  • Wider horizons – One of the problems with trying yo attract tourists to Kyrgyzstan is that it is a small country, (that few people know much about), so many of our visitors actually visit two or three countries – for example, along the Silk Road – and so I looked at what sort of experiences are possible in the wider region of Central Asia –  10/03/13
  • Deer – I was tempted to call this one something like Bambi which was inspired by a report on the internet that “there are now more deer in the UK than at any time since the last Ice Age. The population is currently estimated at around 1.5 million.” – 11/03/13
  • Day against Cyber Censorship – a “unique” commemorative day in that it was once officially sanctioned by the United Nations, but had that recognition withdrawn by UNESCO – 12/03/13.
  • Friendship Monument. – One of my favourite monuments in Bishkek – 13/03/13
  • Questions, questions – Pi day – commemorating the irrational mathematical constant, Einstein’s Birthday and International Ask a Question Day – 14/03/13
  • Airan, Kefir and Chalap – refreshing traditional beverages – 15/03/13
  • The Oval – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 16/03/13
  • Getting around – Transport options for travelling around Kyrgyzstan – 17/03/13
  • BishkekPark – Bishkek’s newest shopping center was supposed to open its doors on March 16th … with two towers it is destined to become Bishkek’s tallest building  – 18/03/13
  • Carry on Doctor … – It’s not easy to become a doctor in Kyrgyzstan – 19/03/13
  • Atake Baatyr – The first Kyrgyz Ambassador – On the anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Russia and the Kyrgyz Republic, I took a look at the first Kyrgy Ambassador to the Tsar’s court in St. Petersburg  – 20/03/13
  • Playing truant –  The kids are not in school today … but it’s OK, it’s all official and above board – they are not playing truant. Today is a public holiday – Norus.  If, however, they had been in Poland, then they could well have been playing truant … it’s a tradition there to do a Ferris Bueller and take a day off on March 21st – 21/03/13
  • Murza Gaparov – The Kyrgyz writer Murza Gaparov was born into a farming family on 22nd March, 1936, in the village of Noygut in the Nookat district of the Osh oblast. – 22/03/13
  • Changeable Weather – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 23/03/13
  • A place to lay your head … – Accommodation options in Kyrgyzstan – 24/03/13
  • Lady Day – Happy New Year! … Again??? … what’s going on? – 25/03/13
  • Semyenovka and Grigorievka –  Two mountain valleys in Kyrgyzstan – 26/03/13
  • Photographing the Pyramids – Some thoughts about the ethics of taking photographs – 27/03/13
  • Potholes – The state of Bishkek’s roads – 28/03/13
  • The use of coins in traditional jewelry – They are not just for decoration … they had practical and mystical value as well – 29/03/13
  • Vincent  – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 30/03/13
  • Guides  – finding your way round when visiting a strange country isn’t always easy – 31/03/13

 April 2013

  •  The Prezhervalsk Monument, Karakol – Nikolai Prezhervalk, the famous Russian Explorer was born on 31st March 1839, and died in Issyk Kul in October 1888 … and a monument to him was erected in 1893  – 01/04/13
  • State – v – Official Languages – I confess to a certain amount of confusion.  Just what is a State Language and what is an Official Language? – 02/04/13
  • The postman … or postwoman – In 1860, the Pony Express was launched on April 3rd – but today’s post office involves a lot more than just mail delivery 03/04/13
  • Garlic – the “stinking rose” – An April Fool’s joke and an announcement of a newly discovered strain of Garlic inspired this look at an important ingredient in Kyrgyz cuisine – 04/04/13
  • Apricots – There’s a festival in Batken to celebrate the Apricot blossom … the fruit is one of the symbols of this southern province – 05/04/13
  • The Declaration of Arbroath – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 06/04/13
  • Something for just about everyone … – Just what is there to do in Kyrgyzstan? …  – 07/04/13
  • Tzingani – On International Romani Day – a look at the “gypsies” of Kyrgyzstan – 08/04/13
  • A Lesson in Market Research – An important difference between two similar brands – 09/04/13
  • Absanat Masalievish Masaliev – the man who led the Kyrgyz Socialist Soviet Republic just before the disolution of the Soviet Union – 10/04/13
  • The most boring day in history ?  – Some days it seems as is nothing much happens – 11/04/13
  • Some photos from a bygone age – Some photographs unveil a relatively unknown expedition to the Tien Shan in 1900 – 12/04/13
  • That’s the wonder of … – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 13/04/13
  • Shopping – Some people love it – others hate it, but shopping in Kyrgyzstan can be quite a varied experience – 14/04/13
  • Accommodating figures – A “figure of the day” seemed to reveal some interesting statistics about the hotel industry in Bishkek – but how useful were they … really? – 15/04/13
  • All that glistens … – it may well be true that “there’s gold in them there hills” – but the industry in Kyrgyzstan is going through difficult times – 16/04/13
  • The Besh Aral State Reserve – one of Kyrgyzstan’s National Parks – 17/04/13
  • Disappearing Glaciers – There are a lot of glaciers in Kyrgyzstan’s mountains – but less than when I first came here nearly 18 years ago … why’s that? – 18/04/13
  • Kurmanbek Baatyr – one of the Kyrgyz “minor” epics – 19/04/13
  • Kaputt: the end of the Red Baron – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 20/04/13
  • Souvenirs – What to buy as a momento of Kyrgyzstan – 21/04/13
  • Better late than never … – With an impeccable sense of timing, on April 9th the Kyrgyz Government issued a Rasporyazheniye, (an order), approving a list of some 19 anniversaries to be officially commemorated in 2013: the birthdays of eighteen famous people and one institution.  – 22/04/13
  • A puzzling time – Helping Maxim with his homework, I discovered a discovered a simple piece of software for creating simple Crosswords … and here’s an example – 23/04/13
  • Borsh : Where’s the beetroot? … Wheres the Meat? – My efforts to cook the standard soup always seems to create problems – 24/04/13
  • Summertime – and the living is easy … – I always have trouble with the calendar, and the designation of April 25th as the first Day of Summer, (in Iceland), seems a little optimistic – 25/04/13
  • Archa – One of the most common trees in Kyrgyzstan is the Archa, (or Juniper) – 26/04/13
  • It’s a long way to … – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal re
  • view of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 27/04/13
  • Eating out … dining in Kyrgyzstan – Food is one of the most important things to concern visitors when they are traveling abroad … – 28/04/13
  • Prezhervalskiy Museum, Karakol – April 29th, 1957, saw the opening of the Prezhervalskiy Museum on the headland between the Karakol and Kara Suu Rivers, at the eastern end of Lake Issyk Kul – some 12 km from the regional center of Karakol – 29/04/13
  • The Month ahead – People often ask me about how I keep track of all the special days and anniversaries that feature in my postcards … and the answer is that I try to keep a diary of them. – 30/04/13

May 2013

  • Mairamynyzdar Menen! –  Happy Holidays – 01/05/13
  • The Good Book – in Kyrgyz – On the anniversary of the publication of the  Authorized Version of the Bible in English … what about the Kyrgyz version? – 02/05/13
  • Customs and Duty Free – Kyrgyzstan wants to have the best Duty Free Shopping in the CIS – 03/05/13
  • It’s not all down to the bottom line – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 04/05/13
  • Nightlife and entertainment – There’s plenty of opportunities for going “out on the town” here in Bishkek – 05/05/13
  • Tuu Ashu – Although we don’t have anything on the scale of the Channel Tunnel, we do have the Tuu Ashu Tunnel,  – 06/05/13
  • Wild greeby – A number of cases of mycetism prompted me to look at mushrooms in Kyrgyzstan – 07/05/13
  • I’ve been away a long time … – A look at a form of DIY advertising which has long been common here and now seems to be making an impact in Britain (… well, it was featured in an advert for the Archers) – 08/05/13
  • War Memorials – To commemorate Victory Day, (marking the end of the Second World War), I took a look at some of the War Memorials around the country –  09/05/13
  • Is it the real thing? – after twenty years as the national currency, special security measures are necessary to protect the Som from forgeries  – 10/05/13
  • Finally … – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 11/05/13
  • Take a City Tour – A City tour can be a good way to get your bearings as well as seeing the highlights – 12/05/03
  • A charm for pain and woe. – It’s that time of year for photographs of poppy fields that paint hillsides red – 13/05/13
  • Radonitsa – The Tuesday after Easter is a day to remember the dead – 14/05/13
  • Yudakhin – A famous linguist who collected traditional nomadic wisdom in  thousands of traditional Kyrgyz proverbial sayings – 15/05/13
  • Bishkek Riots – 1966 – One of the “interesting times” which presaged later revolutionary situations – 16/05/13
  • The Tatars – One of the many nationalities that contribute to the cultural diversity of modern day Kyrgyzstan – 17/05/13
  • Whiskey Galore – The regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 18/05/13
  • Day Trips from Bishkek – For those with a day off in Bishkek, there’s lot of different ways to fill it – 19/05/13
  • Responding to Accidents – Accidents happen … but what happens next is what really matters – 20/05/13
  • The Manas Gumbez and Museum. – Talas holds a special place in the spirit of the Kyrgyz … it’s the motherland of Manas – 21/05/13
  • It’s got nothing to do with philosophy – Kant. – Kant is known locally for a brewery, a sugar factory and an air base … but there’s more to it than just that – 22/05/13
  • Raikan Shukurbekov – We missed the 100th anniversary of his birth earlier this year … but to mark the 49th anniversary of his death I took a look at the famous Kyrgyz poet and playwright  – 23/05/13
  • When I say Avrora – I mean Aurora … or vice versa –  The ship was launched in 1900 – the sanatoria was built in 1979 … one is now a museum … but the other is still going strong – 24/05/13
  • For whom the bell tolls … – The regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 25/05/13
  • Taking a Weekend Break – Ideas for taking a weekend break from Bishkek – 26/05/13
  • Bilimkana – New schools in Kyrgyzstan – a hope for the future – 27/05/13
  • In the footsteps of … Paul Pelliot – The French scholar who passed through Kyrgyzstan on his way to his great discovery – 28/05/13
  • Keeping the Peace – Kyrgyzstan and the UN Peacekeeping efforts –  29/05/13
  • A night at the ballet – A visit to see the “Rising Stars” of Ballet in Kyrgyzstan – 30/05/13
  • Going Batty  – Bats in Kyrgyzstan -31/05/13

June 2013

  • Pen pal day – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 01/06/13
  • Crystal Roses – What do you get someone for their fifteenth anniversary? – 02/06/13
  • Scriveners – A trip to see the Notary – 03/06/13
  • Graffiti – revisited – When does graffiti become Art- 04/06/13
  • Honey, honey … – Nature’s nectar which never spoils – 05/06/13
  • Alexander Sergeyevich and the Day of Russian Language – A day of celebration for Russian Speakers – 06/06/13
  • Akyns – a painting in the Museum of Fine Arts – Who’s who in a famous painting in the Museum of Fine Arts – 07/06/13
  • 1984 – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 08/06/13
  • Christmas all year round – Is it too early to start thinking about this? – 09/06/13
  • The Great Silk Road – The Great Silk Road just happens to be one of a number of similar routes that have been given names after the event – 12/06/13
  • Chak Chak – A traditional Tatar dessert that is also popular in other parts of Russia and in nearby countries – 11/06/13
  • Duan Wu Jie – Dragon Boat Festival – The Festival that closed the border – 12/06/13
  • A long and tiring day – A long and tiring day  on Wednesday came to a quixotic conclusion – 13/06/13
  • Fire, FIRE! – a note about the Kyrgyz Fire Service to mark Fireman’s Day today – 14/06/13
  • Dial 101 – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 15/06/13
  • “Museum Fatigue”  – Museum visits are often an integral part of an organized tour … and there are a wide variety of museums here in Kyrgyzstan – 16/06/13
  • The Silk Road – a well trodden route – We’ve all heard, (probably), of Marco Polo – but he wasn’t the only person to travel all the way along the Silk Road – he wasn’t even the first – 17/06/13
  • Sary Djaz – The fast flowing river in the East of the country is the site of a new proposed Hydro electric project – 18/06/13
  • 13 steps with Kazat Akmatov – a review of a book by the famous Kyrgyz author Kazat Akmatove which was being launched at an event in London on Thursday – 19/06/13
  • What to wear for Ladies’ Day – International Women’s Day may have been back in March, but Thursday was Ladies Day at Royal Ascot, where hats are de riguer – 20/06/13
  • Kuurdak – a traditional Kyrgyz dish – in which I describe a recent encounter with this this popular Kyrgyz dish – 21/06/13
  • Checkpoint Charlie  – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 22/06/13
  • The “authentic” Silk Road – Anyone who want to travel along the Silk Road overland these days, more or less, has to travel through Kyrgyzstan … giving them the opportunity to experience something that ancient travelers might find familiar – 23/06/13
  • Tien Shan Fir trees – Fir trees are a common sight in Kyrgyzstan’s mountains – 24/06/13
  • Climatic factors – what is happening with the weather these days? – 25/06/13
  • Nam shestnadtset let! – Sixteen years in business – What changes have we seen? – 26/06/13
  • 21 to 14 – We often hear about “Diplomatic Notes” and “Protests” but what are they?   27/06/13
  • Extending the season – The “tourist season” in Kyrgyzstan is reckoned to be just 40 days! – 28/06/13
  • A fire in the bard’s theater – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 29/06/13
  • In and around Naryn – Things to see and do in and around Naryn- 30/06/13

 July 2013

  • A valuable research tool – On the anniversary of the publication of the first Encyclopaedia – 01/07/13
  • The Day of the Ufologist – Some things are stranger than fiction … including apparent UFO sightings in Kyrgyzstan -02/07/13
  • The Sun has got his hat on … and is coming out to play – On Stay out of the Sun Day  some thoughts about ho to avoid the problems related to Kyrgyzstan’s hot summers – 03/07/13
  • The wrong day ??? – The Americans celebrate Independence Day on 4th July … but I wonder how many of them realize that this is almost certainly the wrong day – 04/07/13
  • Buying a package – Birthdays and anniversaries are pretty important here, so I thought I would mention that Friday was the birthday of the Package Tour – 05/07/13
  • A man for all seasons – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 06/07/13
  • Taken to task – An email brought home to me the importance of feedback from clients who had taken a tour with us – 07/07/13
  • Passes – Without them, the mountains would be nothing – 08/07/13
  • One of the ‘Bugbears of modern life’ – Why I am not very receptive when it comes to “high pressure” sales techniques of telesales operatives – 09/07/13
  • Peter Fedorovich Shubin – One of the great figures of Kyrgyzstan’s classical music scene – 10/07/13
  • Taking the measure of corruption – Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer had some surprises – 11/07/13
  • It’s surprising what you can learn from James T. Kirk. –  – 12/07/13
  • The first steamship – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan –  13/07/13
  • Three Lakes and a Reservoir – Here’s on itinerary for trying to see as much of Kyrgyzstan as possible in a short time – 14/07/13
  • A Kyrgyz vocabulary –  The chance discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799 led to a dead language coming alive, sometimes I feel the need of a Kyrgyz Rosetta stone – 15/07/13
  • Food ettiquette – It’s important to be aware of local traditions when dining out -16/07/13
  • Andrei Rublev – The Russian Orthodox Church commemorates it’ most famous painter of icons – 17/07/13
  • Hearts of Oak – Bishkek’s trees in crisis – 18/07/13
  • The after effects of a robbery – Being a victim of a robbery can have some unwelcome consequences -19/07/13
  • A small step … – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 20/07/13
  • Sun Worship – Many tourists go in search of the sun when choosing their holiday destination … what can Kyrgyzstan offer? …   – 21/07/13
  • Arhat – A classic of contemporary Kyrgyz literature – 22/07/13
  • Romashka – I needed to buy flowers for a trip to the cemetery – 23/07/13
  • Panfilov Park – One on Bishkek’s main city center parks – 24/07/13
  • A bigger splash – A chance conversation over Dinner sent me in search of Swimming Pools here in Bishkek – 25/07/13
  • Still young at heart – As I approach my “coming of age”, (that is 18 years in Kyrgyzstan), I took a brief look at what changes I have seen in that time  – 26/07/13
  • Unikeonpäivä – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 27/07/13
  •  Pilgrimage – Visiting Sacred sites in Kyrgyzstan – 28/07/13
  • Take care when choosing a headline : Snow Leopards under threat – I was confused when I saw a news report about the Snow Leopard becoming a victim of fashion – 29/07/13
  • Svetly Mys – Bright Cape – The sleepy rural idyll where, maybe, St. Matthew finally rests – 30/07/13
  • A conundrum – So, whose flag is it anyway? … and why haven’t they changed it? – 31/07/13

 August 2013

  • What a hoot! – the owls of Kyrgyzstan – to commemorate Harry Potter’s Birthday, (actually, that was 31st July), it seemed appropriate to pay tribute to one of the characters in the stories – Hedwig, Harry’s pet owl – 01/08/31
  • We don’t really say that – “Please” is one of the first words you learn in any language … but not in Kyrgyz … it’s not that simple – 02/08/13
  • It’s all a mistake – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 03/08/13
  • To tip, or not to Tip … That is the question – one of the hardest questions we ever face from clients is whether they should give a tip … and if so, how much? – 04/08/13
  • Philosopher, Advocate, Theologian, Student – a chance remark over dinner led me to consider how others saw me … and how I saw myself – 05/08/13
  • Cholponbayev Tuleberdiev – Hero of the Soviet Union – Remembering a hero and his act of self sacrifice … I suggest you watch the video even if you don’t understand the Russian – 06/08/13
  • The Silk Road Lodge becomes a teenager – Thirteen years ago, our hotel in Bishkek opened its doors to guests for the first time …  – 07/08/13
  • A double holiday – Thursday happened to be Orozo Ait – a public holiday to mark the end of Ramadan … but it was also International Mountaineers Day – 08/08/13
  • Difficult and worrying times  – Having to make trips to visit someone in hospital can be a stressful business … as I recently found out – 09/08/13
  • Where’s the camera? – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 10/08/13
  • To snap … or not to snap … and what to snap –   – 11/08/13
  • International Youth Day – Monday was International Youth Day, so I took a look at the commemoration and it’s theme this about Migration  – 12/0813
  • Sinister Southpaw – It was followed on Tuesday by Left-Handers’ Day, with an invitation and a warning to enter the “Lefty Zone” – 13/08/13
  • Where am I? – A request for GPS coordinates for our hotels caused a bit of a problem … for a while, but GPS systems are being more common … even here. – 14/08/13
  • Archaeology – In Russia, Thursday was Archaeology Day.  To my surprise, I discovered that we don’t have an equivalent … but I am sure it will soon be instituted … anyway, I took the opportunity to have a brief look at Arch/eology in Kyrgyzstan  – 15/08/13
  • Eles –  I came across clip of a series of photographs of old Bishkek (or Frunze as it was then) – featuring a song which led to lots of reminiscences of what seems to be a different world … long, long ago – 16/08/13
  • Klondike – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 17/08/13
  • Ecotourism – what’s that? – My visitor said that she knew what the term meant … but I wasn’t so sure … after all, it means different things to different people – 18/08/13
  • The World Needs More #__________ – An intriguing tactic to raise both awareness and funds for World Humanitarian Day – 19/08/13
  • Manas Airport – it’s often the first and impression visitors have of Kyrgyzstan – 20/08/13
  • Mudslides and Debris flows – Advice from MChS – They don’t happen often, but they can be devastating when the do occur – 21/08/13
  • One Thousand Birds – Min Kush has a name that sounds so appealing … but it’s going through hard times – 22/08/13
  • Vanahun and the opening shots of the Battle of Kursk – A hero of the Second World War – 23/08/13
  • All in all, it’s been an interesting week … – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 24/08/13
  • “Your best price …” – I know we are all looking for a bargain, but what exactly is “your best price”? – 25/08/13
  • Plague – A case from Bubonic Plague puts Kyrgyzstan back in the headlines – but what does it actually mean? – 26/08/13
  • 80 – a sad statistic – 80 people have drowned in Kyrgyzstan since the start of the year – so how do you have fun but stay safe on, in and around water – 27/08/13
  • Shorpo – A standard Central Asian Fayre – 28/08/13
  • The Red Headed League – Kyrgyzstan doesn’t mark Redhead’s … but maybe it should … here’s why – 29/08/13
  • Steps towards Independence – As Kyrgyzstan prepared for it’s big day – Independence Day – I took a look a look at how it all unfolded – 30/08/13
  • A Big Day – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 31/08/13
September 2013
  • So much to discover – Kyrgyzstan is a country full of fascinating  – 01/09/13
  • The three K’s – Three words you often meet in Kyrgyzstan which sound familiar but mean very different things – 02/09/03
  • Perviye zvonok – Although a little later than usual because of the extended weekend but, it’s back to school – 03/09/13
  • A Code of Ethics … for nurses – In June, the Ministry of Health approved a code of ethics for medsestry – nurses. – 04/09/13
  • Moving away from home – A couple of surveys from America caught my eye – 05/09/13
  • Bekem Tish – Healthy Teeth – In Bishkek there is currently a dental health  campaign – 06/09/13
  • The Last Night … – The regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 07/09/13
  • Bird Watching – Maybe there are more species of birds to be found in other countries – but Kyrgyzstan has a more than its fair share of endangered species – 08/09/13
  • Saima – The intensive and disappearing art of embroidery – 09/09/13
  • Changing Street names – Is it any wonder we get confused? -10/09/13
  • The last new year of 2013 – Wednesday was “New Year” for what is, perhaps, Kyrgyzstan’s smallest ethnic minority – 11/09/13
  • ShOS – Shankhayskaya Organizatsiya Sotrudnichestva – Why the citizens of Bishkek were in for a couple of difficult days – 12/09/13
  • Have a byte of chocolate cake … – It might well have been Friday 13th, but it was a day of celebrations for some people – 13/09/13
  • First aid – The regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 14/09/13
  • Itchy hands – a look at the traditional crafts of Kyrgyzstan  – 15/09/13
  • Kyrgyzstandyn mamlekettik koozoot kyzmatynyn kyzmatkerinin koonoo – The State Security Service had a busy last week with eight Heads of State in town … so they probnably deserved their “professional holiday” on Monday – 16/09/13
  • Belka – a look at one of the examples of “urban wildlife” of Kyrgyzstan – 17/09/13
  • Pelmeni – a standard Russian dish …  – 18/19/13
  • Genghis Khan didn’t have it all his own way – Although this happened over the border in Kazakhstan, this story shows that even “God’s punishment for your sins” didn’t always have an easy time imposing his will – 19/09/13
  • From Tractor driver to Prime Minister – Sultan Ibraimovich Ibraimov – a look at one of the Prime Ministers of the Kyrgyz SSR – 20/09/13
  • IDP – International Day of Peace – The regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 21/09/13
  • Traditional musical instruments – Last week we organized a concert by the musical group Jetigen for a group of tourists who were interested to see and hear a variety of musical instruments, here are some of them. – 22/09/13
  • What was that you said? – Some thoughts on the Day of the State Language – 23/09/13
  • The Silk Road through the Chui Valley – On Mezhdunarodniy dehn karavanshika – The International Day of the Caravan, a look at, perhaps the most famous caravan route, the Great Silk Road that passed through Kyrgyzstan – 24/09/13
  • Mysterious deaths – A newspaper article opens a can of worms – 25/09/13
  • Karkara – The Eastern approach to the Issyk Kul basin – 26/09/13
  • Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future – 27/09/13
  • Asking stupid questions – The regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 28/09/13
  • Bazaar shopping – There are some people who love to go shopping … and there are others, like me, for whom it is a necessary evil … still, even I have to admit that there is something fascinating about wandering through a bazaar. – 29/09/13
  • Translations – Some words of admiration for interpreters and Translators on International Translation Day  – 30/09/13

 October 2013

  • Some places to see over the border – China –  On China’s National Day, I took at look at some of the places just over the border that are worth a visit – 01/10/13
  • Potatoes – On my recent trip to Naryn I bought some potatoes … they are not native to Kyrgyzstan, but play an important poart in it’s cuisine, agriculture and economy – 02/10/13
  • The Turkic Council – October 3rd, 2009 saw the foundation of the Turkic Council – or, to give it its full title, the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States, and as a result, the day has been designated the Day of Turkic Unity each year. – 03/10/13
  • Osh – the Southern capital of Kyrgyzstan – as today is the Dehn Goroda of Osh, yesterday I wrote a postcard about the city – 04/10/13
  • Dehn Goroda Osh –  the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 05/10/13
  • Wish list – Some places in Kyrgyzstan that I still haven’t visited but would like to  – 06/10/13
  • Aesculus hippocastanum – A reminder of my youth … Conker trees in a Bishkek park – 07/10/13
  • Breathe into this … – on the anniversary of the introduction of the breathalyzer onto Britain’s roads, I took a look at ‘Drink Driving’ in Kyrgyzstan  – 08/10/13
  • A new Benjamin – The introduction of a new banknote by the Federal Reserve  – 09/10/13
  • Draniki – A tasty snack or garnish  – 10/10/13
  • Batken Oblast  – A look at the remote Southwestern corner of Kyrgyzstan to mark the creation of the Batken oblast in 1999  – 11/10/13
  • Did he … or didn’t he? – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 12/10/13
  • Traditional Jewelry – To mark National Crafts Day here in Kyrgyzstan I took a look at traditional Kyrgyz jewelery – 13/10/13
  • One in the eye – to mark the anniversary of the battle of Hastings, where King Harold got an arrow in the eye, I took a look at some traditional Kyrgyz Horse games … including Jumby Atmai – archery from horseback – 14/10/13
  • Mosques – To commemorate the Kurman Ait holiday, I took a look at the Mosque here in Kyrgyzstan – 15/10/13
  • It may look easy … but … – Wednesday was also a special day … even if it wasn’t really marked here in Kyrgyzstan … Boss’ Day … so I took a look at what it means to be a “boss” – 16/10/13
  • Kvass – Summer is over which means that one of the traditional refreshing summer drinks … this one, Kvass, from Russia … is also about to disappear for the Winter – 15/10/13
  • The Road to Osh – to commemorate the completion of the main Bishkek-Osh highway in 1965, I took a look at the road – 17/10/13
  • Kvass – Summer is over which means that one of the traditional refreshing summer drinks … this one, Kvass, from Russia … is also about to disappear for the Winter – 15/10/13
  • The Road to Osh – to commemorate the completion of the main Bishkek-Osh highway in 1965, I took a look at the road – 18/10/13
  • Unfinished business – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 19/10/13
  • ATC – A look at some of the people who make travel in the modern world possible : Air Traffic Controllers – 20/10/13
  • Bakken Kydykeeva – Every now and again when preparing these postcards, I come across a “little gem” … an interesting story which works on several levels, such as: human interest; containing a mystery and  inspirational – even a touch of tragedy.  The story of Bakken Kydykeeva is one of those. – 21/10/13
  • Forel – Last week, I saw an interesting news item … announcing the establishment of a new fish farm in the Naryn Region where they are “growing” Rainbow Trout (Forel) which aims to produce between five and six tons a year.- 22/10/13
  • Baitik Baatyr and the fall of Pishpek – The leader of the Solto tribe who invited the Russians to help him take the fortress of Pishpek – 23/10/13
  • Paperwork – To commemorate Paper Free Day, I took a look at bureaucracy and its love of paperwork – 24/10/13
  • Toktogul Satylganov – To commemorate his birthday, I looked at the life of one of Kyrgyzstan’s favourite akyns – 25/10/13
  • Alfred the Great – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 26/10/13
  • Driving force – Some people think it’s easy to be a professional driver … but … – 27/10/13
  • Keremet Koch – A Magic Journey – On World Animation Day, I look at a the first Cartoon TV series produced in Kyrgyzstan in the last twenty years – 28/10/13
  • Komsomol – the Communist Party’s Youth movement in the Soviet Union-  29/10/13
  • Kyrgyzstan and the World Trade Organization – On the anniversary of the signing of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade, I took a look at Kyrgyzstan’s relationship with the World Trade Organization – 30/10/13
  • Compote – Now that Summer is over, one of the refreshing summer drinks will be less prominent in Bishkek  – 31/10/13

November 2013

  • The other White House – There’s more than one White House in the world – This one’s in Bishkek – 01/11/13
  • The Day of Culture – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 02/11/13
  • Choices, choices  – As the days to draw in and the nights get longer, (at least, in the northern hemisphere), people often turn their minds to thinking about their next holiday … – 03/11/13
  • Surprise ingredients –   Another “gold medal” success for Kyrgyzstan – 04/11/13
  • Women, entrepreneurs, business development and handicrafts – The Day of Culture in Kyrgyzstan – 05/11/13
  • To boldly go …  – Is it lift off for a Kyrgyz entry into the Space Race? – 06/11/13
  • Aaly Tokombaev –  a poet and one of the pioneers of Kyrgyz literature. – 07/11/13
  • Victims – Commemorating the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Political Repression – 08/11/13
  •  Fateful Day – “Never again!”  –  – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 09/11/13
  • Youth Travel  – I took the opportunity of World Youth Day to take a look at one of the biggest sectors of the the tourism industry: catering for young travelers – 10/11/13
  • Musa Baetov – A singer, poet, composer and bard … and his hometown – 11/11/13
  • Why did they do it? – The sad news of the destruction of a monument at San Tash – 12/11/13
  • So, what exactly is an oblast? – A question I sometimes get asked – 13/11/13
  • Supporting disabled children in Kyrgyzstan – News of a new project to help children with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan – 14/11/13
  • Feline Relatives and Ancestors – The snow leopard has always been considered one of the special “big cats” – now there may be more one more reason to treasure it – 15/11/13
  • Diplomatic relations – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 16/11/13
  • Gap years – It’s a growing trend … taking a year off – 17/11/13
  • Studying abroad – A few weeks ago, a local newspapers ran an interesting article based on a couple of interviews with foreign students studying at Kyrgyz Universities; one from Korea and the other from Syria … – 18/11/13
  • Kanibek Osmonalievich Osmonoliev – the Kyrgyz Olympic Gold medalist – 19/11/13
  • Missing – Universal Children’s Day … but, unfortunately, not all the news is good as a spate of missing children hits Bishkek – 20/11/13
  • The Mosaics of Bishkek – a different sort of Street Art – 21/11/13
  • Hugh’s Bear Cubs  – An update from the Karakol Orphanage and Microcredit schemes – 22/11/13.
  • Tardis – it’s bigger on the inside! – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 23/11/13
  • Going South – Osh oblast – On the anniversary of the founding of the Osh oblast … what is there to see and do in the region? – 24/11/13
  • Konstantin Scriabin – One of the pioneers of Kyrgyzstan’s Science – 25/11/13
  • Voron – The Ravens of Bishkek –  26/11/13
  • Unnatural Links – I’ve been accused of poting unnatural links (whatever they are) … I plead “Not guilty!”  – 27/11/13
  • Frederick Engels – He never made it to Kyrgyzstan but he has still had an influence on the history of the country – 28/11/13
  • Andreeva Noch – Andrew’s Night – On the eve of St. Andrew’s Day … what can Scotland learn from Kyrgyzstan as it prepares for the referendum on Independence – 29/11/13
  • Out of the wilderness … and into the flames – the regular weekly postcard giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 30/11/13

December 2013

  • One month to go … S’Novym Godom – in a month’s time it will be New Year … how will you meet it? … and what are the options here in Kyrgyzstan?  – 01/12/13
  • The Bactrian Argali – Stories of mythical monsters abound … and sometimes they turn out to be true … – 02/12/13
  • Organic Kyrgyzstan – On the International Day against Pesticides … a look at organic farming here Kyrgyzstan – 03/12/13
  • Kydyr Ake – the Kyrgyz Solomon – Alexander, Alfred, Catherine, Peter, Vladimir … and how about Kydyr the Great? – 04/12/13
  • Abdynasyra Elebesova – Elebesova was a powerful force in shaping Soviet Kyrgyzstan – 05/12/13
  • Encyclopaedia Kyrgyzstana – on the anniversary of the publication of the first part in what was to become the Encyclopaedia Britannica, a look at the Kyrgyz equivalent … – 06/12/13
  •  … a date that will live in infamy – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 07/12/13
  • A Twitching Tour – An Ornithological opportunity in Kyrgyzstan – 08/12/13
  • St Yuri’s Day – Russian tradition has it that this is the day you are supposed to have cleared all your debts – 09/12/13
  • A letter of complaint – An annoying phone call led to this letter of complaint … people who know me are aware that I do not respond well to “telesales” and attempts at “high pressure” sales pitches … – 10/12/13
  • The Pamir Mountains – On the International day of the mountains – alook at one of Kyrgyzstan’s main ranges – 11/12/13
  • Statues of Lenin – As pieces of Kiev’s statue of Lenin go on sale on the internet – what of Kyrgyzstan’s 4000 odd memorials to the revolutionary leader? – 12/12/13
  • UNOOSA – There’s a growing conviction in the scientific community that “we are not alone“ … and even the UN seem to agree – 13/12/13
  • Monkey Business – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 14/12/13
  • What’s in a name – The Silk Road Lodge – Just why did we choose the name Silk Road Lodge for our hotel in Bishkek? – 15/12/13
  • Happy Birthday, Ludwig!!!  – Not everyone recognizes Beethoven’s Birthday – but why is it important to commemorate such things? – 16/12/13
  • Jerboa – It may look like a cartoon character – but several species of this rodent can be found in Kyrgyzstan – 17/12/13
  • International Migrants Day – On international Migrants Day, I took a look at this complex issue that has considerable importance for Kyrgyzstan – 18/12/13
  • Chichkan – Mouse – A Mouse is not just a rodent … it’s also the name of a picturesque valley that cuts through the mountains as part of the Bishkek-Osh highway – 19/12/13
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky and the Cheka – There a statue hidden away in downtown Bishkek to the founder of the Cheka, the forerunner of the KGB – 20/12/13
  • Retired numbers – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 21/12/13
  • MICE – MICE – not furry little rodents … but a type of tourism – 22/12/13
  • Night of the Radishes – An unusual Christmas festival (from Mexico) that features a basic ingredient of local cuisine – 23/12/13
  • Ayaz Ata – He looks familiar … but is it a case of mistaken identity … the Kyrgyz version of Santa Clause – 24/12/13
  • Vladimir Vlasov … composer – It may have been Christmas Day – but it also a Birthday for many people … including one of Kyrgyzstan’s main composers – 25/12/13
  • Before you leave home … – Back in Britain, Boxing Day marks the opening of the Summer Holiday advertising Season … so here’s some thought’s about the preparation and planning that goes on before you leave home – 26/12/13
  • Passports – It’s not just a piece of paper … you’re nobody without one – 27/12/13
  • A centerpiece for public life – the regular weekly postcards giving a personal review of the week’s news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 28/12/13
  • Take a Hike – I have a confession to make: for a long time I was confused about the difference between such terms as trekking, hiking, rambling and walking. That’s a bit of a handicap for someone working in Tourism in Kyrgyzstan – especially as Kyrgyzstan is known as a “Trekkers’ Paradise”. – 29/12/13
  • Witnessing for Jehovah – One group that won’t be joining the celebrations this festive season – 30/12/13
  • Frenemies and Selfies – Two words … one from the last century … and the other from this – 31/12/13

January 2014

  • A year of anniversaries – 2014 – It’s going to be a busy year here in Kyrgyzstan … with lots of anniversaries to commemorate – 01/01/14
  • An initial foray into Issyk Kul – Semyenov’s first trip to Issyk Kul … to mark his birthday in 1827 – 02/01/14
  • Signs of progress … -My recent trip to Naryn provided some surprises – 03/01/14
  • Shaken, not stirred – The regular weekly postcard looking at events here in Kyrgyzstan during the previous week – – 04/01/14
  • Why not? … Why not Kyrgyzstan?? – Why? is a powerful question … but so is Why Not? … so Why Not come and visit Kyrgyzstan? – 05/01/14
  • A Merry Little Christmas  – Christmas may have come and gone in the West … but it’s not too late to wish people a Merry Little Christmas … January 6th is known – especially in Ireland – as “Little Christmas” – 06/01/14
  • Make it Snappy – 7th January may well be Christmas Day for the Orthodox … but it is also an important anniversary in the history and development of photography – 07/01/14
  • Jumash Dudusaliev – Happy Birthday! – Jumash Dudusaliev is a young violinist busy making a name and reputation for himself … and not just here in Kyrgyzstan – 08/01/14
  • Alternative anniversaries …  – It may not be have been a “birthday” but for me Thursday was a personal milestone of sorts – the 32,000,000th … – 09/01/14
  • Going to pot– Colorado has passed a law legalizing Cannabis (under certain conditions) … and so has Uruguay … should Kyrgyzstan follow suit, after all we grow the stuff here!  – 10/01/14
  • Winter Wonderlands – The regular weekly postcard looking at events here in Kyrgyzstan during the previous week – 11/01/14
  • Soviet Tourism – Tours exploring Kyrgyzstan’s Soviet heritage – 12/01/14
  • Off your trolley ??? – The trolleybus, one of the mainstays of Bishkek’s public transport system, was introduced on 13th January, 1951 – 13/01/14
  • Unwelcome guests – Maybe a hotelier shouldn’t say this … but there are some “guests” that are particularly unwelcome – 14/01/14
  • Elebaev – Founder of Kyrgyz Literature – Birthday to Mukai Elebaev – probably! – the “founder of Kyrgyz Literature” – 15/01/14
  • “I apologize profusely to all Beatles fans everywhere” – The Beatles crop up everywhere – even here in Bishkek – 16/01/14
  • The Kyrgyz Khanate – A new set of collectible coins for numismatics focus on a moment of Kyrgyz history – the Great Kyrgyz Khanate – 17/01/14
  • A Bear of Very Little Brain – The regular weekly postcard looking at events here in Kyrgyzstan during the previous week – 18/01/14
  • Because Kyrgyzstan – The Oxford University Dictionary may have declared “selfie” as the word of the Year for 2013, but some Americans have decided that a better candidate for the title is “because” … which led me to suggest a possible new marketing strategy for Kyrgyz Tourism – 19/01/14
  • Artnapped – Some more information about the picture that got stolen from the Museum of Fine Arts last week … and the artist who painted it – 20/01/14
  • Time to get close – National Hug Day … and the question of “personal space” – 21/01/14
  • What do you do when you’re at the end of your tether? – statistics about the number of suicides led to this postcard … which the kids advised me not to post … but as it’s a matter of “life and death”, (literally), I decided to go ahead anyway – 22/01/14
  • Write it down – To commemorate National Handwriting Day, I decided to look at the role played by writing as far as the ancient Kyrgyz were concerned … it wasn’t just a culture of “oral tradition” – 23/01/14
  • Count your blessings – name them one by one – It’s easy to be critical … in a negative way … but one journalist asked us to be positive and consider what there is about Bishkek to love – 24/01/14
  • The best laid plans … – The regular weekly postcard looking at events here in Kyrgyzstan during the previous week – 25/01/14
  •  Double or nothing – well almost – A recent survey found that the average person in the UK has visited seven countries in their life … a trip to Central Asia could more or less double that – 26/01/14
  •  The Siege of Leningrad – Seventy years ago saw the end of the worst siege in human history … – 27/01/14
  •  Jenishbek Rayimbaev – Who is Jenishbek Rayimbaev? – the sad story of Kyrgyzstan’s tallest man – 28/01/14
  •  Those annoying little emails – Spams and Scams. – I think the title says it all – 29/01/14
  • Ferghana Valley – Cities in the Uzbek part of the Ferghana Valley – 30/01/14
  • Could This Be Kyrgyzstan’s Year – The Year Of The Horse? – Chinese New Year is here again … it’s the Year of the Horse – and the Kyrgyz have a particular affinity with the horse – 31/01/14

 February 2014 

  • Unlucky for some.  – The regular weekly postcard looking at events here in Kyrgyzstan during the previous week – 01/02/14
  • Have an adventure – adventure can be defined in many different ways and Kyrgyzstan offers great potential for Adventure Tourism – 02/02/14
  • Places named after people – Kyrgyzstan seems to have a habit of renaming places in honour of famous sons and daughters – 03/02/14
  • Cholponbek Bazarbaev – for many years the face of Kyrgyz ballet – 04/02/14
  • Corruption – Not exclusively a Kyrgyz problem – following a report about the breathtaking widespread corruption in Europe, it became clear that is not an exclusively Kyrgyz problem – 05/02/14
  • Talas – The homeland of Manas, the legendary hero of the Kyrgyz – 06/02/14
  • Alexei Pavlovich Fedchenko – Explorer – the short life of one of the Russian explorer who helped to open up Central Asia to the outside world – 07/02/14
  •  Let the games begin  – The regular weekly postcard looking at events here in Kyrgyzstan during the previous week – 08/02/14
  • Travel times and distance …  – Maps can be deceiving – 09/02/14
  • Town and Gown – On the anniversary of the St. Scholastica’s Day riots in Oxford in 1355 – which cost almost a hundred lives – a look at Higher Education in Kyrgyzstan – 10/02/14
  • A Saint visits Kyrgyzstan – A surprise visit from an icon of Russian history; St. Sergius of Radonezh – 11/02/14
  • Sambo – The Winter Olympics aren’t the only international sporting event going on in the world, we’ve just hosted an international Sambo competition  – 12/04/02
  • Sadyrbaev Dooronbek – Thursday was the 75th anniversary of this filmmaker turned politician’s birth – 13/04/02
  • Thirteen days in February – Why the Russians once arrived late for the Olympic Games – 14/02/04
  • Chicken Little – the day the sky fell in  – The regular weekly postcard looking at events here in Kyrgyzstan during the previous week – 15/02/14
  • Always a good idea … ? – Why are all the best travel slogans already taken … Kyrgyzstan, always a good idea! – 16/02/14
  • Now is the winter of our discontent  – “What a lot of weather we are having” … putting Bishkek’s temperature into a little context – 17/02/14
  • Yusuf Abdrakhmanovich Abdrahmanov  – The story of the father of Modern Kyrgyzstan – 18/02/14
  • In answer to a question: – A correspondent wrote asking me about the dilmma facing Kyrgyzstan … to support the development of the China-Kurgyzstan-Uzbekistan (East-West) railway or the Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan (North-South) route – 19/02/14
  • Djumabek Asankulov  – The man who was the M of Kyrgyzstan … and some interesting stories about the declaration of Independence – 20/02/14
  • The day of the Guide – Friday was the International Day of the Guide … – 21/02/14
  • Mapping – – The regular weekly postcard looking at events here in Kyrgyzstan during the previous week – 22/02/14
  • Off the beaten track … Kol Suu – Kyrgyzstan is well endowed with “remote and beautiful” spots … and Kol Suu is definitely one of them! – 23/02/14
  • A messy business – A run-in with the authorities over litter – 24/02/14
  • The Beautiful Onion – Recently a new species of onion was Discovered in Southern Kyrgyzstan – 25/02/14
  • A second foray into Issyk Kul – Pyotr Semenov’s second visit to Issyk Kul in 1856 – 26/02/14
  • Zelenka – Green Fingers – Here, having “green fingers” may mean something other than describing who is good with plants  – 27/02/14
  • Yevgeny Dmtrievich Polianov – The story of the translator of the Manas Epic saga into Russian – 28/02/14

 March 2014

  • Felix catus – The regular weekly postcard looking at events here in Kyrgyzstan during the previous week  – 01/03/14
  • Just another hotel? – When there’s plenty of choice … it’s important not to be “just another hotel” – 02/03/14
  • Just another hotel? – When there’s plenty of choice, it’s important not to be “just another hotel” – 02/03/14
  • Konstantin Petrovich Kaufman – The Governor General of Turkestan … which included modern Kyrgyzstan: – 03/03/14
  • Prospect Manas – A stroll along one of Bishkek’s main streets: – 04/03/14
  • Cooksie – To mark what would have been the 104th birthday of Momofuki Ando: creator of the Cooksie – or pot noodle – a staple here in Kyrgyzstan. – 05/03/14
  • Uhhh … who are you? – A visit from the authorities – 06/03/14
  •  New build – There’s an awful lot of construction going on in Bishkek – 07/03/14
  •  Then again, there’s always John of God. – The regular weekly postcard looking at events here in Kyrgyzstan during the previous week  – 08/03/14
  • The Best …  – Kyrgyzstan offers some of “the best” experiences here in in Central Asia – 09/03/14
  • Swastikas … and all that – A strange sight to the east of Naryn, a copse of trees planted in the shape of a swastika – 10/03/14
  • A Pony of Prime Ministers – A recent news report highlighted the fact that in 23 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, independent Kyrgyzstan has had some 25 Prime Ministers … but is this a fair representation of the situation – 11/03/14
  • Solyanka – A traditional soup dish which is on the menu at many cafés and restaurants in Bishkek and around the country- 12/03/14
  • The price of gas … – Kyrgyzstan is not rich in Natural Gas resources although it is rich in the number of ways you can pat … and soon, some people think, you may have to be rich in order to pay the bill … as the price inexorably rises – 13/03/14
  • Cotton Club – An important and useful textile, but sometimes a controversial crop …  – 14/03/14
  • Its not cricket – The regular weekly postcard looking at events here in Kyrgyzstan during the previous week  – 15/03/14
  • Something old … something new …  – Difficult decisions about what to include and waht to leave out when writing a book about Kyrgyzstan – 16/03/14
  • Esengul Ibraev – The Kyrgyz are fond of their poets – such as Esengul Ibraev – 17/03/14
  • See you in court – Taking someone to court is often a last resort – 18/03/14
  • Kyrgyz Patent – 540 years ago in Venice – a new revolutionary lay was enacted … and led to a government agency here in modern Kyrgyzstan  – 19/03/14
  • Hanami – Cherry Blossom time …  – “Lovliest of trees …” – and laden with fruit – 20/03/14
  • Alykul Osmonov – Fancy a good read – try a 200 som note – 21/03/14
  • WWD – World Water Day – The regular weekly postcard looking at events here in Kyrgyzstan during the previous week  – 22/03/14
  • First impressions can make an ‘el of a difference – They say you only get one chance to make a good first impression, but a single letter can upset the best laid plans – 23/03/14
  • Banking on it. – On the anniversary of the foundation of Bishkek’s first local bank – a look at the history of Banking in Kyrgyzstan – 24/03/14
  • Djalal Abad – Lying on a branch of the old Silk Road, Djalal Abad is a regional center in the Ferghana Valley – 25/03/14
  • Spinach … Toot Toot! – To marh the anniversary of Popeye becoming the first, (and only?) cartoon character to have a public statue dedicated to him, what of his favourite food … shpinat is good gor you even if it is not to everyone’s taste –  26/03/14
  • All the world’s a stage … – Some thoughts to commemorate World Theater day – 27/03/14
  • The Chui Chamber Orchestra – On the anniversary of its foundation, a look at what has become a cultural institution in Bishkek – 28/03/14
  • I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing in Perfect Harmony – The regular weekly postcard looking at events here in Kyrgyzstan during the previous week  – 29/03/14
  • The best form of advert – Satisfied customers are the best form of advert there is – 30/03/14
  • A useful website … but not yet in Kyrgyzstan – and interseting and useful (British based) website – but will there ever be one here in Kyrgyzstan? – 31/03/14

April 2014

May 2014

  • What a difference a letter makes – Two men … separated by a single letter … and the confusion this can cause – 01/05/14
  • Basic English – Some of the difficulties of learning to speak English – 02/05/14
  • Tell me … what’s going on?  – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 03/05/14
  • Tabula Rasa – there’s a wide choice of things to see and do in Kyrgyzstan … but it’s not exactly a clean slate when planning  a trip – 04/05/14
  • Temirov – the Kyrgyz Admiral – It might seem unsusual for a landlocked country to produce a Admiral … but Kyrgyzstan has – 05/05/14
  • Swans – the ugly ducklings? – The majestic waterfowl that are to be found in Kyrgyzstan – 06/05/14
  • Drugstore – There’s a plethora of chemist chops (drugstores) in Bishkek – 07/05/14
  • Chatkal – one of the most remote regions of Kyrgyzstan – 08/05/14
  • Kyrgyzstan’s Military – On Victory Day … a look at the Kyrgyz military –  09/05/14
  • There’s two sides to any story … – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 10/05/14
  • “It’s a disaster !!!” – When things go wrong on a tour … be prepared – 11/05/14
  • Vasily Radlov – The scholar who brought us much or our knowledge of the ancient Turkic peoples – including the Kyrgyz – 12/05/14
  • Bahadyr Kochkarov – The Kyrgyz World Cup Football Referee – 13/05/14
  • Kaulbars – The General who “founded” Karakol – 14/05/14
  • Leading the World – For what is Kyrgyzstan in First Place in the world – 15/05/14
  • Azamat Sydykov – Concert Pianist – to mark a groundbreaking concert in New York’s Carnegie Hall, a brief look at the talented Kyrgyz Pianis Azamat Sydykov – 16/05/14
  •  Match of the Day – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 17/05/14
  •  Tourism, Kyrgyzstan and Stereotypes – a personal response to a note about stereotypes associated with Tourism in Kyrgyzstan – 18/04/14
  •  Shopokov -Both a hero and a village here in Kyrgyzstan – 19/04/14
  • Traditional Kyrgyz costume – Men – It was odd to see the “birthday” of the quintessentially American garb – Blue Jeans – being commemorated being celebrated on a Russian website … so I took the opportunity to describe what the well dressed Kyrgyz nomad might have been wearing in 1850 when Levi Strauss received a patent for his durable workmen’s pants – 20/04/14
  •  Diversity Day – Some thoughts about multi-ethnic, multi-cultural societies on the UN recognized Diversity Day – 21/04/14
  • Casting votes – Britain went to the polls on Thursday in local and European elections, and I took the chance to look at Kyrgyzstan’s record when it comes to holding elections since Independence – 22/04/14
  • Turtle Day – To commemorate World Turtle Day, a note about the Tortoises that are to be found here in Kyrgyzstan – 23/04/14
  •  Putting on a show – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 24/05/14
  • Allergies … – summer can be a difficult time of year for some people – 25/05/14
  • Ch … ch … ch … changes  – a chance encounter leads to a retrospective look at Kyrgyzstan, then and now – 26/05/14
  • Durak – A Fool’s game – the most popular card game in Kyrgyzstan – but it takes some getting used to – 27/05/14
  • A taxing problem – Pay your taxes and sleep soundly … oh, if only it was that simple – 28/05/14
  • The Djalal Abad Oblast  – a quick look around this region of southern Kyrgyzstan – 29/05/14
  • And the next word is … (ding!) … Tsundoku … now, why would anyone do that … buy books and never read them? – 30/05/14
  • Jobs for life … – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 31/05/14

 June 2014

  •  Travelling with Children – On Children’s Day, some thoughts about traveling with children – 01/06/14
  • Picturesque Placenames – Some placenames have picturesque meanings … but they don’t always mean what they say – 02/06/14
  • 2048 – A game the is sweeping across the globe … – 03/06/14
  • Osh Bazaar – A look at Bishkek’s main bazaar – where it is possible to fun just about anything – 04/06/14
  • Raise your voice, not the sea level – Although it’s always good to think about the environment – Thursday was a particularly good day … because it was World Environment Day – 05/06/14:
  • Ishenaly Arabaev – One of the founders of Kyrgyz education – 06/06/14
  • Is it all down to “the bottom line”? – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 07/06/14
  • Car Games – On International Children’s Day, I took a look at some ways opf keeping them occupied on long car journeys – 08/06/14
  • Schass! – An example of how different peoples have different concepts of time – 09/06/14
  • A Day lasts how long? – On the anniversary of the death of the great Kyrgyz author … I took a look at one of his most famous novels … the title of which definitely hints at a different concept of time – 10/06/14
  • The camera never lies … or does it? – abreathing new life into old black and white photos isn’t as difficult as it seems – 11/06/14
  • At Bashi – I always thought that Nag;s Head was the name of a pub … but here it is also the name of a village, a local authority district, a mountain range, a river and a valley … – 12/06/14
  • Cat Flap – Sir Isaac Newton’s invention (probably) which is a “must” for cat lovers worldwide – but not necessarily here in Kyrgyzstan – 13/06/14
  • It’s not a joking matter – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 14/06/14
  • Money matters …  – The situation is constantly changing, but Kyrgyzstan is still, fundamentally, a case based society … some thoughts about what this might mean for visitors to the country – 15/06/14
  • Be-Cha-Ka – On World Water Day, a look at one of Kyrgyzstan’s main water Resource Management Systems – 16/06/14
  • Seen from above –  It’s been suggested that the search for the missing flight MH307 should be extended to look at a remote valley in Kyrgyzstan … but … things are not quite what they seem … – 17/06/14
  • Small talk  – I am not  very good at this, but @small talk@ is a vital element when doing business here in Kyrgyzstan – 18/06/14
  • Accepting Repsonsibility  – Whay is it so hard for people to accept the responsibility when something goes wrong? – 19/06/14
  • Take a minute to think of the plight of refugees …  On World Refugee Day, some thoughts and statistics – 20/06/14
  • Fête de la Musique – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 21/06/14
  •  Things to do, playces to go, people to see … – Must Dash … Gotta Go.  I have things to do, places to go and people to see – 22/06/14
  • QWERTY – an exception to the rule – Although this has (virtually) nothing to do with Kyrgyzstan, it was time to say Happy Birthday to the Typewriter … and the QWERTY keyboard  – 23/06/14
  • Zhang Qian, Chang Ch’ien – the original Silk Road traveler –  to commemorate the inclusion of the Silk Road cities of Nevkat, Suyab and Balasagin into the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, I took a look at one of the pioneers of Silk Road Travel (although, to be fair, he almost certainly never got to visit these particular cities) –    24/06/14
  • Chupacabra –  So what has been attacking and killing the livestock in the Kochkor region? … and what is the best way to deal with it? – 25/06/14
  • Lagomorpha Leporidae  – among the surprising victims of the Chupacabra were sheep, a goat, hens and Lagomorpha Leporidae : rabbits – 26/06/14
  • Ali bin Uthman al-Hujwiri – Sufi Saint – On the eve of Ramadan, a look at one of the Sufi Saints from the Ferghana valley – 27/06/14
  • A month of prayer and fasting – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 28/06/14
  • Traveling during Ramadan – It probably won’t make much of a difference here in Kyrgyzstan … but some things travelers should bear in mind if they are visiting Muslim countries during the Holy Month of Ramadan – 29/06/14
  • Zakon podlosti – The local equivalent of Murphy’s Law – 30/06/14

July 2014

  •  Oochastkoviy – The Beat Cop – encounters with the local beat officer – 01/07/14
  • Shashlik – a popular meal – 02/07/14
  • The Lenin outcrop – a local landmark on the road to Naryn – 03/07/14
  • The story of the Yurt the ‘backstory’ on  the traditional dwelling of the nomadic Kyrgyz – 04/07/14
  • Tynwald – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 05/07/14
  • Going with the flow …  – CXoping when things start to go wrong … the story of one of our early tours – 06/07/14
  • El Kutu – Wings of the people – Fathers of the Nation  – A strange and mysterious monument in downtown Bishkek – 07/07/14
  • Apitherapy  – An alternative medical treatment – excuse me if I am not keen to try it – 08/07/14
  • Traditional Kyrgyz Hospitality  – … is bound by rules – 09/07/14
  • Vladimir Obraztsov  – Painter and Teacher – 10/07/14
  • An Unwelcome visitor – At least there have been any calls of “Yankee go home” – 11/07/14
  • Iconic images – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 12/07/14
  • Packing – Do you really need to take the kitchen sink with you when you go on holiday? – 13/07/14
  • Orto Tokoi – the rise and fall of Kyrgyzstan’s first reservoir – 14/07/14
  • Social entrepreneurs – it’s a “trendy” term, but what exactly doe it mean? – 15/07/14
  • Bigfoot – a pair of swollen feet send me off to the doctor, and teach me not to try and second guess the expert – 16/07/14
  • Culture Shock – Coming to terms with those little differences between life here in Kyrgyzstan … and life back home – 17/07/14
  • Chasing a couple of tyiyn – A financial dilemma – 18/07/14
  • Dr. Ironfist – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 19/07/14
  • Some like it hot – Last week, back in Britain, they were expecting 29 degrees and calling it a ‘heatwave’ … here in Bishkek so far this month we’ve had only had 2 days below that – 20/07/14
  • Moldobasan Musulmankul – a professional storyteller – 21/07/14
  • The Greeks of Kyrgyzstan – One of Kyrgyzstan’s smallest and least known ethnic groups – 22/07/14
  • Muzak – background music can be good … but … – 23/07/14
  • Kadji Sai – a resort on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Kul … with somewhat of a history – 24/07/14
  • Some Breads and Dough to accompany meals – Bread – a staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water, usually by baking … the staff of life – 25/07/14
  • Angels – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 26/07/14
  • Festivities –  About Festivals in Kyrgyzstan – especially the upcoming World Nomad Games  27/07/14
  • Bishop’s Move – It’s all change in the Orthodox Church here in Bishkek – 28/07/14
  • Konorchok – The Kyrgyz “Grand Canyon” – 29/07/14
  • Livestock  – the affinity between the Nomadic Kyrgyz and their livesock – 30/07/14
  • A novel view … – a different way of looking around Bishkek, and the rest of Kyrgyzstan, is in offing.  Apparently Google Street View is coming to Kyrgyzstan – 31/07/14

August 2014

There were no later posts this month because I was taken ill with Appendicitis, and was hospitalized and later underwent a period of recuperation.

September 2014 

There were no postcards for the first three weeks of the month.  During the last ten days of September 2014, however, the range of topics covered in the postcards included the following topics:

October 2014

  • Shipton’s Arch – As Wednesday was China’s National Day, I thought I would mention an unusual and little known geological feature which is found just over the border, not far from Kashgar: Simpson’s Arch – “a curious arch so unique that it has been called one of the world’s top 20 natural wonders” – 01/10/14
  • Kyrgyz Scientific Discoveries – A couple of interesting articles about Kyrgyz scientific discoveries – 02/10/14
  • It’s all in the name: Pyotor Kozlov – He may have been important in the story of opening up Central Asia, but was only a “bit player” in the story of Kyrgyzstan – 03/10/14
  • Back behind my desk – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 04/10/14
  • A special momento – personal and unique – Another suggestion for a unique and personal souvenir for a trip – 05/10/14
  • The Saks – Just, who were they, The Saks? – 06/10/14
  • The Toktogul Statue – On 7th October, 1974, Bishkek got a new monument – a statue of Toktogul Satyganov – 07/10/14
  • Mathematical verses – An interesting and innovative approach to teaching Maths in Kyrgyzstan – 08/10/14
  • Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust … – A controversial issue raises its head, again, in the Kyrgyz parliament – 09/10/14
  • Djorgom – Not to everyone’s taste – but often called the “Second Kyrgyz Dish”, after Beshbarmack – 10/10/14
  • Atlas Shrugged – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 11/10/14
  • Airport Transfers – Landing at the airport in the early hours of the morning, tired and jet-lagged, how refreshing to have to not worry about making your way to the hotel – 12/10/14
  • Kiosk – A common sight in Kyrgyzstan – 13/10/14
  •  And the next word is … (ding) … Cwtch – … and I thought Russian was difficult – 14/10/14
  •  Valleys, Basins and Gorges – The existence of mountains implies that there are valleys and passes – 15/10/14
  • Traditional games and pasttimes – Last month we saw the First World Nomadic Games – here are some of the traditional games that the nomadic Kyrgyz played to occupy their time – 16/10/14
  • Two legends: – A couple of Kyrgyz legends: The Three Akhbars and Kar Jilik – 17/10/14
  • The road to … – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 18/10/14
  • Over the Kungei Ala Too – This mountain range was once crisscrossed with popular trekking routes between Almaty and Lake Issyk Kul, but they are rarely traveled these days … will they open up again? – 19/10/14
  • Profsoyuz – Trade Unions – Last Sunday was the Day of Trade Unions here in Kyrgyzstan – 20/10/14
  • Varanus griseus – The Desert Monitor – Another of the endangered species in Kyrgyzstan – 21/10/14
  • Almambet – One of the characters in the Manas epic – 22/10/14
  • Happy Birthday, Edson! – Nothing really to do with Kyrgyzstan, but it seemed appropriate to with a Happy 74th birthday to a sporting legend: Edson Arantes do Nascimento, beter known, of course, as Pelé – 23/10/10
  • The Pishpek Fortress – The Pishpek Fortress was the largest (and most heavily fortified) of the fortresses that Kokand built to defend its territories in the Chui valley back in the 19th century … but what happened to it? – 24/10/14
  • Happy New Year … again – The weekly postcard reviewing events in Kyrgyzstan – 25/10/14
  • Kyrgyzstan in Three Words – An interesting survey … but it could have been so much more useful: Kyrgyzstan in three words – 26/10/14
  • What’s the time? – It sounds like an easy question … but it’s really quite complicated …: – 27/10/14
  • Vasily Vereshchagin – The nineteenth Russian painter whose joined Kaufman on his mission to Turkestan and painted vivid pictures of Kyrgyzstan and the Kyrgyz – 28/10/14
  • Pickled Eggs – How a traditional British delicacy was received in Bishkek – 29/10/14
  • Abdykerim Sydykov – the father of Kyrgyz statehood – The ‘aristocratic’ revolutionary who was instrumental in the creation of a Kyrgyz state – 30/10/14
  • Metla – An essential tool for witches and dvorniki – 31/10/14

November 2014

  •  How do you spell that name? – The regular weekly review of the news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 01/11/14
  • Disrupted holiday plans … thanks to the weather – The best laid holiday plans can go “aft agley” … thanks to the vagaries of the weather – 02/11/14
  • Pyrokinz – stranger than fiction? – SHC … Spontaneous Human Combustion (!?) – 03/11/14
  • Early Orthodox Bishkek – Bishkek’s earliest churches – 04/11/14
  • A “Double Take” moment – Some strange events cause me to do a “double take” – 05/11/14
  • Turdakun Usubalievich Usubaliev – Almost a quarter of a century at the helm … that’s quite an impressive record -06/11/14
  • Holiday? … what holiday? – Friday was a holiday in Kyrgyzstan … but how many know what it commemorates and how do they understand its importance – 07/11/14
  •  Remembering Victims of Oppression – The regular weekly review of the news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 08/11/14Things to see in the Talas oblast – a little known corner in the North West of Kyrgyzstan – 10/10/14
  • Summing up … on the schoty – counting on an abacus – once an essential tool for every accountant – 11/11/14
  • Unfulfilled ambitions – Who dares … ? – I’d love to … but … -12/11/14
  • Kasymaliev Dzhantoshev – it might just have been hyperbole but apparently “everyone knows him” … 12/11/14
  • Guide training – when the students gave the examiners a bit of a surprise – 13/11/14
  • A “new” legend about the origin of the Kyrgyz – A legendary account of the origins of the Kyrgyz … – 14/11/14
  •  Reuse … – The regular weekly review of the news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 15/11/14
  • Decisive factors in choosing a hotel … – there are so many factors to consider – 16/11/14
  • Nomadic carpenters – Kyrgyz handicrafts are usually typified by felt … but there are other crafts … such as wordwork – 17/11/14
  • The Union of Artists – The Union of Artists is celebrating its 80th birthday … and is still supporting budding artists – 18/11/14
  • Tribes and Clans – What it boils to is the “Family is all” – 19/11/14
  • The Sporting Life – What constitutes a “sport” … and what sports are to be found in Kyrgyzstan – 20/11/14
  • Shahimardan – A piece of Uzbekistan … surrounded by Kyrgyzstan – 21/11/14
  • Defining moments in History – The regular weekly review of the news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 01/11/14
  • Kyrgyzstan may be known for its mountains … but … – perhaps a new slogan or campaign for Kyrgyz Tourism … there’s always a “but” isn’t there? – 23/11/14
  • A brief history of Bishkek – exactly what it says … the history of Bishkek “in a nutshell” – 24/11/14
  • White Ribbons – to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – support for which is sometimes symbolized by wearing a white ribbon – 25/11/14
  • Two Saints – Tuesday was a big day for Orthodox Christians here in Kyrgyzstan … not only was the Saint’s Day for one of the most important saints of the Early Church … another one is paying a visit to Bishkek at the moment (or, at least, his relics are) – 26/11/14
  • “God’s own country” – The American holiday of Thanksgiving marks the first harvest gathered in by the early European settlers when they reaped the bounty of the land which they were to call home … the nomadic Kyrgyz also had a great affinity with the land – even if they were nomads – 27/11/14
  • A “Red Letter Day” for women politicians – According to the Kenyan politician, Senator Beatrice Elachi: “It is not easy being in politics …”, and the statistics suggest that it is even harder making your mark in politics if you’re a woman. – 28/11/14
  • Pong – The regular weekly review of the news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 29/11/14
  • On the slopes – Skiing –  ideal for a day trip, a weekend break … or to take a week off  – 30/11/14

December 2014

  • The first day of Winter – Here, December 1st is reckoned to be the first day of winter … but it isn’t so everywhere – 01/12/14
  • UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity – Traditional Kyrgyz and Kazakh yurts have been inscribed into the list of mankind’s intangible culture and heritage – 02/12/14
  • Taxi! – no Black cabs … no Yellow cabs … Bishkek’s taxis are an eclectic mix – 03/12/14
  • A tale of two houses – both of them owned by Bishkek’s first Mayot – Ilya Terentiev …but they’ve enjoyed different fortunes over the years – 04/12/14
  • P2P – A new employment statistic … well, new to me that is … but what is it? and what can it tell us about Kyrgyzstan? … food for thought – 05/12/14
  • A Touch of Frost – Winter has definitely arrived, as temperatures plummet here in Bishkek  – 09/12/14
  • Colonial Karakol – Many of the descriptions of Karakol draw attention to the colonial heritage of the city – especially the architecture – referring the the “gingerbread” colonial type houses. – 10/12/14
  • Techosmotre – There are calls to bring back Kyrgyzstan’s version of the MOT Test – 11/12/14
  • Biometric – New Passports for the Kyrgyz – 12/12/14
  • There’s plenty of time to finish this game … – The regular weekly review of the news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 13/12/14
  • What you can’t take out of Kyrgyzstan – It’s not often that an event at the Sotheby’s salerooms in London hits the headlines in Kyrgyzstan, but that’s what happened ten days, or so, ago – 14/12/14
  • I’d like a nice cup of tea … – Since 2005, December 15th has been marked in several Tea producing countries as International Tea Day – 15/12/14
  • The Big Day … – I often say that, “Every day is a special day … for someone”… well, as every Peanuts fan will tell you,16th December is special – it’s Beethoven’s Birthday– 16/12/14
  • Is it News? – just what exactly constitutes News? – 17/12/14
  • Cookiestan … – “Out of the mouths ob babes and suckling” … Kyrgyzstan, Cookiestan – 18/12/14
  • Central Asia in “The Age of Empires” – As one scholar put it: “It’s impossible to get a grasp of Central Asian history without understanding the geography” – 19/12/14
  • National Security – The regular weekly review of the news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 20/12/14
  • Banya – Moncho – Saunas – a feature of life in Kyrgyzstan, cleansing, invigorating and refreshing  – 21/12/14
  • Motorway – “Limited Access Highways” in Kyrgyzstan … sorry, here aren’t any … not yet! – 22/12/14
  • The Nutcracker and the Mouse King – Tchaikovsky’s famous Ballet … one of the mainstays of the local Ballet Company – 23/12/14
  • Something appropriate – When the crew of Apollo 8 learned that they would have a live broadcast from space on Christmas Eve,  1968, they were simply told to think of something appropriate – 24/12/14
  • Bah … Humbug! – At the risk of asppearing like the Grinch or sounding miserly like Scrooge … why I am no t that fond of Christmas – 25/12/14
  • What’s the time? – A question from one of the kids taught me that – even if something looks simple … it rarely is – 26/12/14
  • Passport please! – The regular weekly review of the news from here in Kyrgyzstan – 27/12/14
  • What people look for in a holiday … – 28/12/14
  • The “Golden Man” of Issyk – Discovered in Kazakhstan in 1969, the Golden Man of Issyk evokes images of life in ancient Scythia – 29/12/14
  • How Much!? – Knowing the price of things can, sometimes, be quite a surprise – 30/12/14
  • Customs – If you are crossing the Kyrgyz border today … remember to wish the Customs Officer a “Happy Customs Day” – 31/12/14

 January 2015

February 2015

 March 2015

 April 2015

 May 2015
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