unique occurrences

the most shocking culture shock

January 2, 2014

(so far) There are tons of things to adapt to about living in Ghent/Belgium/Europe that are different from the US or Kyrgyzstan. Little things, like discovering that my favorite mascara costs 11 Euros here (compared to $5-6 in the US) and taking the minuscule step of buying store-brand make-up from a chain I’ve never heard […]

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Mister Kyrgyzstan 2013

May 1, 2013

This event was amazing. It’s ranked up there with the cat show for Best Things I Ever Experienced In Kyrgyzstan. This was the Mister Kyrgyzstan 2013 competition. Thirty-three of Kyrgyzstan’s most strapping young fellows competing for a coveted title and a free trip to Turkey. (This post is really heavy on the photos, so click […]

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Cat Show in Bishkek

April 1, 2013

I first heard about a cat show hosted in Bishkek over a year ago (maybe even two), but news about the event had only ever reached me after it had already happened. Until now. I went to a cat show in Bishkek, and it may have been the best day ever. I had a few […]

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Galactic Marshrutka

March 25, 2013

Can dreams come true? Yes. Yes they can. I finally photographed the Galactic Marshrutka this weekend. I wasn’t prepared, except that I had my camera out at the moment it drove past me. The pictures aren’t amazing (they’re a bit blurry, in fact), but good enough to prove its elusive existence. As you can see, […]

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Karakol animal market

March 18, 2013

Okay sure, let’s wake up at 6am and go to the animal market. We (Farrell, me, Win strapped to my chest, and Cami, the only other person out of our 18-person group who wanted to go with us) walked 10 minutes to get to the main road. We’ll catch a cab, that shouldn’t be too […]

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art studio visit

February 20, 2013

A few weekends ago, a friend and former coworker was visiting from Almaty and offered to show us her father’s art studio in Bishkek. Her father, Jyrgal Maturaimov, is a very talented painter. Farrell had seen some of her father’s paintings that she had posted on Facebook, and we had already decided that we need […]

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Dad in Kyrgyzstan

February 4, 2013

FINALLY! One of my parents made it out to Bishkek! It might have been during the absolute worst time of the year to visit Kyrgyzstan, but whatever, this is progress. The main purpose of my dad’s visit was to accompany Farrell and me on the vast international journey with Darwin. Farrell and I had handled […]

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and now I have a broken door

September 13, 2012

(Update, 10/27: About a week ago, the police came back to explain all of the diligent work they had been doing on our case. You would not believe how crazy this story turned out to be! All along, we assumed it was a group of spoiled rich hooligans that broke our door, but the police […]

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Kirstin gets sued (hypothetically)

September 12, 2012

The revelation that some House Hunters and House Hunters International episodes might not be as truthful as they first appear hit some people hard. When I was back in the states one woman’s account of making her episode was national news. But nothing was affected more seriously than the strained diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and […]

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Bishkek Fashion Week

May 10, 2012

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Yes, even Kyrgyzstan has a Fashion Week. In fact, more than 150 Fashion Weeks a year are organized all around the world. Still, having never attended any sort of fashion show myself, I was curious to see what sort of fashion I’d get to see here […]

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