Naryn – December 2011

Update: January 2nd, 2012

When I went up to Naryn at the end of December, Maxim asked if he could come along for the ride.

I wasn’t sure if this was a good idea.  I know that he might well be bored here in Bishkek, as there school had broken up for the New Year holiday; the weather is not very good for riding around on his beloved BMX and he’s seen just about every film being shown in Bishkek’s dozen or so cinemas.  However, it’s a five or six hour journey both ways; Tatiana and I would have a lot of work to do whilst there, going through all the end of year routines and so on; and I wasn’t sure what he would do to keep himself himself busy – and out of mischief.  However, I gave in and said OK … but if I was going to have to work then, I said, I thought that he should, too.

Now, as it happens, he has discovered a new interest in life … photography.  He entered a competition on one of the local websites recently and managed to take second place.  I was impressed.  So I gave him my camera and told him that he would have to take lots of photos.

When he asked me what sort of photos I wanted, I simply said, use your imagination.  You see, I never know what sort of photos I need.  I told him that I need photographs of all sorts of sights: places and buildings; people going about their everyday lives; people in national costume, or at work, or eating a meal … that sort of thing.  The other day, for example, I was searching for a picture of the Sports Palace here in Bishkek for our site Kyrgyz Diary.  I knew that I had one, (several, in fact), but I had to go searching through my hard disk to find one.  On the other hand, when I wanted one of the Rossiya Cinema, (the Russian Cinema), I couldn’t find one.

But it’s not just photos of Kyrgyzstan … Once I wanted a photograph for a page about Tips and Tipping and couldn’t find anything useful.  How about one to illustrate the theme of “bribery and corruption” or the “shadow economy”.  It’s not easy to “order up” a photo to fit these themes and

“Basically,” I said, “let’s build a bank of photos and then when I need one I will go and have a look and see if I can find one that fits.”

We set off early morning, as usual, and he sat in the front seat next to the driver and snapped away.  At least he didn’t fall asleep like he normally does … but I did.

The road works on the way to Issyk Kul and over the pass to Kochkor have really improved the road surface.  I was impressed with that too.  Unfortunately the road from Kochkor, over the Dolon Pass to Naryn is still to be done and so was was very uneven and bumpy.

Once in Naryn, Tatiana and Salijan decided that they wanted to buy meat and so while Tatiana and I sat down and went over the accounts we sent Salijan and Maxim off to the Bazaar.

Then, the following day, came the return journey.  Maxim hadn’t wasted his time on the way up to Naryn.  He had selected a number of places where he wanted to stop on the way back to take more photos.

It took him a day or so back here in Bishkek, what with all the excitement of the New Year celebrations and all that, to go through the photos and select some for the website … but here they are:

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