Tomorrow I leave Alanya for a week-long journey to Kyrgyzstan. I’ll meet my lovely friend and former troll-mate Rebecca in Bishkek, the capital. We’ll romp around before splitting ways, after which I’ve got a whole list of things I want to see and do – climb mountains, meet Central Asian feminists, eat my weight in local food – and I can’t wait to share pictures and stories.
In case you’re wondering about Kyrgyzstan:
Kyrgyzstan/the Kyrgyz Republic/Кыргызия is a small Central Asian country – it’s nestled between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China. Ninety percent of the country is mountain, so hopefully I’ll hike up a big hill or two. Mom, grandma: there have been some issues with revolution and ethnic conflict in the past, but Kyrgyzstan is the most liberal of Central Asia’s authoritarian neighbors and probably the safest place I could be in the region. I promise to be careful.
I’m most excited to speak Russian again (it’s widely spoken, especially in Bishkek); to explore the similarities between Kyrgyz and Turkish languages (though I’ve heard Kyrgyz has been flooded with Russian vocab); eat beş barmak, literally translating to “five fingers,” and plov; and maybe even hang out in a yurt.