Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Thoughts on Bishkek

This morning was very snowy in Bishkek. Its wide streets, monuments and tree-lined parks looked beautiful. There is something so appealing for me about this city in this central Asian country. It has a beautiful government center that is replete with grand fountains and beautiful marbled walkways. It has several public theater buildings. The State Museum is clad in marble. Adjacent to the seat of government is a small amusement park, with rides that were new maybe 60 years ago. Yet everything is in need of maintenance. These once splendid examples of Communist rule seem doughty. Once white marble is now stained soot and grime. Sidewalks are uneven and broken. Soviet-era buildings, made of concrete, are dark and moldy. Yet, it is one of the most photogenic cities I have seen.

I am happy to have had the opportunity to be here. The Kyrgys people are beautiful. The women are slim and they dress beautifully. They wear stylish boots with their fur costs. The men are tall and they and also dress very well. Their styles contrast to our casual jeans and tee-shirt couture.

Maybe it’s Kyrgyzstan’s history as part of the fabled Silk Road. It has cities that are mythic, such Samarkand and Tashkent. Maybe this exoticism is what appeals to me. Whatever it is, I enjoy being here.

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