If you didn’t catch my last post about kumis, it means horse milk. Yes, those words do in fact go together. People do actually venture to resorts where the focus is… drinking horse milk!
I remember the conversation like it was yesterday as it completely caught me off-guard. We were in the elevator, my voice was hoarse because that’s when I was extremely ill, but still I managed to ask as many questions as I could despite my self-prescribed remedy of “no talking”. I mean, geez… this Kyrgyz guy just told me that there are entire resorts set up where the focus is drinking milk from horses. Who could be quiet?!
When you live in a new culture for a long enough time, you start to realize subtle cultural norms that you wouldn’t have necessary learned by reading a book about the country. I have now been in Kyrgyzstan for exactly 2 months. Here are some interesting facts about the country and its culture that I have noticed after arriving here.
Holidays are always an awesome time to travel, and Independence Day is a particularly fine festivity. No matter whether Hot Dogs and Fireworks for the 4th of July in the US or Military Parades on Bastille Day in Paris, Independence Day holidays are usually a combination of patriotism and tradition and more than a little raucous celebration. But of course, not every country can celebrate with the panache of Kyrgyzstan.
After 4.5 months of pedaling my bike, I arrived at my destination of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Towards the end of my stay, there was an even bigger social gathering that would bring us together: a wedding! Aibek, the Kyrgyz roommate, was set to be the best man, and everyone was invited. It was the day before the wedding and they still didn’t have a photographer. Go figure! Aibek saw my digital SLR and asked me if I knew how to use it. I surely do.
One of the the reasons I was so ready to come back to Kyrgyzstan in the middle of an admittedly chilly winter was for the ample snow-sport opportunities that abound around here. While all the snow and ice and cold may not be so exciting when crunching around the slick sidewalks of Bishkek, it all pays off when I manage to get out to the mountains.
A Peace Corps volunteer’s acount of her placement in a Kyrgy village:
Video about Kyrgyz nature. Get inspired!
Kyrgyzstan was a delight.
“In the last couple of weeks we’ve seen some incredibly dramatic transitions between landscapes. We’d be cycling a flat dry desert with no water in the morning and climbing mountains surrounded by snow and ice cold rivers in the afternoon.
Kyrgyzstan has lifted our spirits and reinvigorated our hunger for the trip.”
Click the link for photos …
5 camels and a chameleon (???) pass through Kyrgyzstan on the Mongol Rally …
“We can unanimously say we prefer Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan after only being here one day,” …