While in Kyrgyzstan I really enjoyed getting to know the culture there. It was interesting to see what they celebrate. For instance, one night we happened upon a huge celebration - people dressed in suits and dresses, renting out the top floor of a fancy restaurant, and shooting off an impressive display of fireworks to end the celebration. The event? Babies first steps.
The streets were fairly empty during the day, but filled with families with very young (and happily awake) children late into the night. There were lighted carriage rides, a carnival, surrey bicycles for rent, and bouncy houses. One of the young women we hung out with there told us that the streets become alive at night because that's when it's cool out. The days are hot and families let the kids sleep in because it's summer. At night the smell of burning trash filled the air. I suspect there isn't much for trash pick up services.
Remnants of its days in the USSR were everywhere. Around half of the people there, especially in the city are genetically Russian and Russian is the language of commerce. What must've been beautiful buildings decades ago were crumbling and abandoned. Statues of communist heroes still stand all around town. The Kyrgyz people had a long standing relationship with the Russians that preceded being incorporated into the USSR, so their feelings towards Russia are mostly positive. Russia is it's protective big brother.
(to be continued)
All around the city mountain water was funneled through the streets and parks - usually along the walkways, providing fresh water. We got to visit and even eat in a yurt - the original homes of the Kyrgyz people.