kangeiko: (travel)
[personal profile] kangeiko
I am firmly convinced that if I can just wish hard enough, I can fall asleep at whatever time I need to. Sadly, this is 100% not the case and combining night travel with jet lag means that I require naps during the day and then can't get to sleep.

I did manage to get quite a bit done today though - a business meeting this morning which was helpfully frank and open, followed by lunch and shopping with someone I met last night. One of the nice things about travel is that you get to meet so many other fellow travelers! This particular travelers was a French woman living in Belgrade. We bonded over cheese.

Anyway, we found a nice restaurant for lunch and had a delicious steak salad for lunch, and then found a couple of shops selling traditional arts and crafts. I am sadly allergic to the hats and slippers (as there is a high wool content) but I did buy a couple of things. Tomorrow I will try to get some more work done, and also go for a bit of a wander again. I did think about possibly leaving the city to go exploring (the countryside is magnificent) but I haven't organised anything and on Sunday it might be tricky to get sorted. No reason not to explore the city though.

Anyway, a few photos from Bishkek thus far.

Bishkek skyline

This is the Bishkek skyline from the top of the rooftop restaurant I had dinner at last night. For an ex-Soviet city, it's incredibly green! Lovely broad boulevards with trees on either side, ideal for a walk. There are cherry sellers and drink sellers along most roads. Cherries are in season right now, and I bought 1kg for about $3 and am slowly working my way through them. The drink is a sort of spiced milk drink.

Food in Bishkek

Dinner last night was some sort of fried chicken dumplings, plus a noodle soup and a salad. Yes, I was ravenous! I do want to try some of the local cuisine, but there is so much western food everywhere it's actually a little hard to track it down. This was as close as I could come to it in this particular restaurant.

souvenir - singer on wood

One of my purchases from the little craft shop. It's just a little painted fridge magnet, but I think it's really pretty. There were also these elaborate hats (a lot more square than you see on the singer and I think intended for men rather than women) but I did look rather ridiculous in one so I resisted the impulse.

sassy doll

oh so sassy

Look at how sassy this doll is! I don't understand how they managed to convey an expression of such insouciance in wool, but there it is. They had an entire family actually - this is the daughter - but I resisted the temptation to buy the lot. They also had a woolen/felt Nativity scene with tiny fluffy lamb that made me omit such a high-pitched squeaking sound, the sales woman burst out laughing. Some things I guess transcend the language barrier.

My Russian studies continue apace. I was able to ask about slipper sizes and order dates, so I guess I'm making progress? Kyrgyz slippers, by the way, are works of art:

Kyrgyz slippers

The above are from some international fashion house, but you get the idea. The ones listed on this site are actually a lot more representative. They are made from a sort of woolen felt, and are incredibly sturdy and warm. I'm sadly allergic to wool so could only admire from a distance, but the French lady I was with bought a pair in deep purple, with a printed pattern across the top. Should you want your very own, the linked shop has an Etsy page. Because of course it does.

We actually walked past a Soviet plane on our way home. I wanted to take a photo but I wasn't sure if it was in front of a military installation or not (i.e. whether the building behind it was military) - I've found a couple of tourist photos of it online so I guess it's safe to photograph. I may go back tomorrow and get a snapshot. So strange to be walking by with shopping and suddenly walk past one of these...
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