Monday, August 31, 2009

Kyrgyzstan Independence Day

August 31 is Independence Day for Kyrgyzstan.

18 years of Independence - Congratulations, Kyrgyzstan!

It was easy to comfortable being the "tourist" and taking photos today, since everyone was doing the same!

It's funny to me to see what a holiday day out in the city with the family looks like here, as compared to other countries. There were boxes of bannanas everywhere (and my personal favorite bannana/cotton candy/pinwheel cart that is in the far background of this photo and has been in another blog of mine from last year). Can you just hear it? "Ah, why not? It's a holiday! Let's buy a banana!"

I so love the children here. They are amazing. I suppose children everywhere are, but these have stolen my heart. These two girls were cutting loose to someone's karaoke performance,

while this other little princess was waiting her turn to take her picture in front of the Independence Day displays.

Next blog will be our church conference that we had in Issyk Kyul this past weekend. It was awesome!

Saturday, August 22, 2009 Kyiv, too

This is a cool graffiti shot I took in Kyiv right before I left for Bishkek this summer.

The walls have ears...

and eyes...and teeth!

The region I have been staying in here in Bishkek seems to sport some pretty talented graffiti artists.

These are on the canal walls near our apartment.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ala Archak

Even though Bishkek is usually unbearably hot in August, in just about 20 minutes by car you can be at the base of the mountains here that still have snow on their peaks. A bunch of us did just that recently. We went to Ala Archak to walk and enjoy "the nature". Unfortunately it was rainy and cold so fog covered the tops of the peaks. Still, it was beautiful and a nice break from the heat in the city.

"Guarantees the nature time"

I am definitely a word-nerd. My obsession with words is a force for good (when I work editing translated materials) or evil (in conversations with friends when I get all....controlling....and get hung up on specific words). But the best part about being a word-nerd living in a foreign country is reading all the English (on signs, products, etc.) that is translated text from another language (Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Kyrgiz, etc.). miso. I was looking for red miso. Soy bean paste (as far as I know) that is yummy, healthy, etc. and you can add to soups, stir-fry, etc. Tracy and I were on a reconnaissance mission at this place that can only be called a Chinese Home Depot Complex. It is 3 huge buildings filled with furniture, home repair and remodel supplies, AND (the best part) chinese "stuff"... plastic storage things (baskets, boxes, etc.) dishes, teapots, etc. It's like Pic - N - Save on steroids (for those of you that remember that store).

So apparantly miso is Japanese, so the sellers here weren't really sure what I wanted, but assued me that this packet was close enough. I was glad to discover that the label on the back was actually in English! Or so I thought. Here are some of the highlights of what I read (and tried to understand):

  • "This product fine ferments take the degreasing soybean as the main rawmaterial becomes, luster red brown sauce fragrance thick, sticks thicklymoderate, flavor tasty, the nutrition is rich, is the family commonly used regulator taste high quality goods."
  • But my favorite is from the "Edible method" information. "Operates the bag to be direct edible, or adds the meat, the egg, theseafood expolodes the system, also may serve as the cooking, the coldfood in sauce. Guarantees the nature time: 12 months. Production date: Sees the seal."

So, the English is "good so not", but the homemade Chinese and Kyrgyz food that these girls were selling in the building supply section was excellent! Aaaahhhh, the unexpected joys for a word-nerd abroad. :)