It’s unfortunately starting to get a bit too chilly to enjoy мороженое, ice cream, anymore. Luckily, the cooler mornings have finally forced Farrell and I to brave the marshrutkas, vans that travel only set routes for only 8 som (about 17 cents).
Dislikes? Well, Bishkek traffic isn’t really all that regulated. There’s a constant fight with other cars on the road to always inch as close as you can to the intersection without any regard for pedestrians. Marshrutka drivers only have their eyes on more soms and are willing to swerve their huge, rickety vans into opposite lanes of traffic if there’s a possibility of getting to point B any quicker.
But, I like the convenience of being able to hail down a van at any point along my route and get off at any point, especially after I learned the Russian phrase to tell the driver to pull over, Остановите. (Although, Farrell and I had to practically mime our situation to our Russian teacher to figure it out, she doesn’t speak English too well…learning is fun!)
In other news, Kyrgyzstan is holding elections on Sunday! The U.S. Embassy in Bishkek posted a warning on Facebook about the possibility of rioting, chaos, etc… but if I can handle getting rockets shot at me on Iraq’s Election Day, I think I can handle the thought of staying inside on Sunday, watching Korean soap operas (uhh, no joke, they’re really entertaining, and they have English subtitles! Sorry, Russian TV) and playing with the kitten.
The rest of Bishkek seems exponentially more excited about the elections than me (of course, I’m an apathetic American kid). I’ve been chased down by all sorts of people looking to give me election posters and pamphlets and newspapers (see below) and I’m somewhat certain that the sudden increase in random phone calls to my landline have regarded political parties.
There are 29 parties… may the best ones win? Good luck, Kyrgyzstan!
I have a conference to go to all day tomorrow for Development Anthropology (shaping up to be my favorite class), I’m looking forward to meeting some interesting people, I’m not looking forward to listening to the entire thing through a whisper interpreter in the back of the room though. Come on, Russian skills, catch up with my ambition already!