So finally I managed to leave China and get to Kyrgyzstan. On crossing the border the color of mountains changes completely from brown to green. What the Chinese did to the grass? I told you they are planing something…
Not 2 minutes I was in the country a lady introduced my into its fine culinary delicacies. She gave a few hard-rock cheese balls. I am not a big fan of diary products but those are especially bad. And to help downing them nothing better than kumus, fermented mare milk that tastes even worse than it sounds. Apparently it is very good for your health and if you drink every day a bit from the same animal you will be very strong. I’d rather die.
The journey to Osh was long but the landscape pretty. From there I took a 12h night shared taxi to Bishkek, as everyone knows, Kyrgyzstan capital. When waiting to fill the car a big lady who could speak some English kept telling me I will help you, come. So she took me to a shop where we have a few vodka shots till we departed.
On the way soon we stopped by a shop. The lady said to me Come, I buy water. And she did buy a small bottle of water… and 2 beers… and a bottle of vodka. Here vodka is drunk with no mix and when a bottle is open it must be finished. So all people in the car where having shots and even sometimes dancing to the loud music.
When I waked up in the morning, still with the taste of vodka in my mouth the landscape on the road side was amazing, with all the Kyrgyz topics there: green hills, snow capped mountains, horses, yurts…
I spent 5 days in Bishkek mainly dealing with bureaucracy to get visas, a pain in the ass in this area: no problem with Tajik and Kazakh but as expected for the Russian computer says ‘nyet’.
Bishkek is a pleasant leafy city and a good example of soviet architecture: big avenues, lots of trees and parks, big squares and monuments, lots of cement and of course some pretty Khrushchyovkas. Apart form that not much to see/do.
Once the visas were sorted I took another shared taxi back to Osh in order to tackle the Pamir Highway. About 30 min after leaving Bishkek the driver stopped next to a shop. I knew what for. I would be surprised if people buy apple juice, but there was no mistake, it was party time. They brought a bottle of the fermented potato juice which was quickly downed with some sausage and bread. Then another pit stop to get the 2nd vodka bottle. Again there was loud music, same tunes, and some dancing. Check the song below, it will may you want to drink vodka instantly.
I thought that transport prices in Kyrgyzstan were a bit high for Asia but well, not that bad as they come with free vodka, food and Russian lessons. Vodka, connecting people. If Ryanair and the Erasmus program are the glue of Europe looks like vodka was the one of the Soviet Union. Any shop here has a bigger choice on vodka than on food, starting at $2 a litter and you can get a shot in any street kiosk.
And if vodka is inexpensive donkeys are cheap as well, starting at $50-$60. Think about how many things you can do on the cheap in this country: getting a donkey drunk, drinking with a donkey, riding drunk a donkey, riding a drunk donkey, go clubbing on a donkey, ask for a visa at the Russian Embassy for a drunken donkey…