Saturday, August 12, 2006

My Kyrgyz family

So where were we? Oh right, Kyrgyzstan. Well, I left Almaty, Kazakhstan after a day of torrential rain: see here, and people being acutely unhelpful to me. (I must have just caught them on a collective bad week, no hard feelings.)
I hopped a van to cross the border into Kyrgyzstan and found that the girl sitting beside me was from Bishkek, the capital. We talked a little bit. I spoke no Kyrgyz and pathetic Russian, but she spoke some very basic English, and I didn't have a place to stay, and so the next thing I know I'm sitting at her house with the whole family drinking tea with sugar and jam in it and dunking chunks of nan.
Now tell me, right off the bat, how much of an awesome difference is that from Kazakhstan where the general populace wouldn't have pulled me out of a hole, let alone given me the time of day? (in Russian)
The girl's name is Asel. She lives with her Aunt, Lira, who presides as the single matriarch over a huge family, 9 of whom actually live in the house, which is actually two houses, built by her son Azat out of wood and straw and mud. Each has a television and one has running water, although numbers one and two must be taken to the outhouse, still very much a fixture of Kyrgyz life. They live in the suburbs of Bishkek, which means out where goatherds drive their flocks through the unpaved streets and the night soundscape is filled with crickets and barking dogs.

I stayed with Asel's family about 10 days, total, playing with the kids, playing guitar, getting shown around Bishkek and learning to speak Russian (and some Kyrgyz) by immersion. Why keep wandering when you've found a family?
Do go look at the other photos here: they're cuteatacious.

1 comment:

PINKSandROSES said...

hmm well it's almost october...

and this post was in august...

enough said...