another House Hunters update

Somehow the production studio managed to pull together an episode out of three awkward days filming Farrell and me in Bishkek. So if you’re in the US, or any location where you get HGTV, tune in Thursday, September 29 at 10:30pm (eastern time) to see us looking at two apartments way out of our budget range and ultimately deciding, “Oh! You know, I could really see us living well in the apartment we’ve already been living in for a while. When do we get our furniture back?”

I’m still hoping that they don’t include the scene where I get hyperactive about a piece of cake. Or the whole whipped cream/butter incident.

There’s already a snippet of information about the episode on the HGTV website.

Kirstin and Farrell Styers met in Washington D.C.and fell in love in Baghdad. They’re moving to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to start a media analysis company. It’s a growing city thats eager to shed the shackles of it’s former Soviet occupation and that’s only if it can get beyond its civil uprisings. Agent Harvey Wager takes these intrepid adventurers on a whirlwind tour of Bishkek from opulence to efficiency, and shows them that even with their small budget they can get the best of Bishkek. See what happens when House Hunters International discovers Bishkek Kyrgyzstan.

Oh my! That is a bit too many typos for my comfort level. “Intrepid adventurers” is cool, but I’m still embarrassed. I won’t get to see the episode until several weeks after it first airs, so please keep an open mind until I can fully comment and justify all of my actions. Or, I’ll just give a blanket “The production studio made me do/say that” excuse for the whole thing right now.

There you go, set your DVRs!

9 replies on “another House Hunters update”

  1. I’ve been following your blog since I found you when I Googled something about HHI. We filmed an episode here in Florence months ago and I’m nervous as hell to see the finished product. My thoughts/experiences on the whole thing sound a lot like yours! Except our was more “could you guys sit on these steps and pretend to feed each other this gelato that we just bought for you.” I think it’s going to be vomit-inducing on sooo many levels.

    1. Ahh! I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s embarrassed about all the pretending. I found some blogs where people wrote stuff like “Oh yeah, decided to buy a house, HGTV came to film it, saw house #1, saw house #2, saw house #3. Decided to buy #3, what a normal and pleasant experience!” Either they’re lying or we just had the joy of a more “creative” approach. Gelato is at least delicious, I had to drink a traditional Kyrgyz beverage made of fermented wheat and salted yogurt that is typically left to sit in a bucket for a few nights. Umm… it tasted like cheese, and not in a good way.

      When does your episode air? You might have had the same film crew as us, they talked about being somewhere in Italy before coming to Bishkek.

      1. We’ve broken a few of our friends hearts by bursting their HHI bubble (you know, that most of it is made up). I’m always like “Are you realllly sure you want to know how it’s actually done?” I filmed my “at home” stuff after we filmed here in Florence and while I was in Philly I watched an episode of HHI and all of the magic was gone for me. 🙂

        Not sure when our episode airs yet, but probably really soon. They told us early fall. Our crew was UK-based, too, but from your photos they don’t look like our guys…they had just come from Iceland when they arrived in Florence. What a cool job, right?!

  2. Don’t feel mortified! I just finished watching the episode (I tuned in late and missed the butter part though) and I found your site after googling to find out what “the business” was. (I also found myself thinking “Oh, yeah, let’s wander around the picturesque gardens, but what is winter like?”) You seem 97x less lame than most people on House Hunters, although I must admit that I was shocked to see a teenager hunting for an apartment halfway around the world. I feel better knowing that you are, in fact, 23, so I wasn’t terribly off in estimating your age.
    But I’m glad I found your blog! The Turkey photos are great. I especially like the “Turkish kitten” caption because we have a restaurant here called “Turkish Kitchen,” and you can guess what I’ll be calling it from now on…
    Best of luck to you,

    1. “You seem 97x less lame than most people on House Hunters” That is probably the best compliment I’ve received about the show! Thank you!

  3. OOPS… I found a typo in my post! Here’s a correction:

    Hi, Kirsten. I just saw the (repeat of?) the HHI show last night, and my take-away was that you and Farrell are examples of the brain drain happening here in the U.S. You’re intellectually curious, and so you’re off to new lands. It’s sad, really, but who can blame you? As a part-time professor of business communications and a former journalist (including with USA TODAY in DC; I love DC!), I applaud your writing skills, too. They’re dying here in the U.S.

    Not sure you watched HHI much before you got personally involved, but I noticed that you and Farrell are the ONLY ONES I’ve ever seen “choose” the least-expensive property. So, kudos to you, too, for being less materialistic than the other HHI folks we see. Everyone else always goes for the most expensive. I saw you two as choosing love over space, adventure over comfort, and risk over immediate gratification you both could enjoy in the States.

    As the producer said, “Brilliant.”

    1. Thank you for all of these kind words! I wouldn’t say we’re quite part of the brain drain; we definitely plan on returning to the U.S. at some point and used this whole Kyrgyzstan experiment as a way to try and boost our future career prospects. Hopefully we’ll be able to put this experience to good use in the U.S. in the future, but prior to moving out here I really felt like I was too inexperienced in a field that was saturated with gigantic companies where it would take years and years to be able to do the sorts of projects that I’m interested in.

      I had seen a few episodes of HHI before and they were all focused on fancy, multi-million dollar vacation homes in resort towns, so I was surprised they still wanted to film our episode after seeing our one-room apartment! I wish there was more advance planning to find other apartments to feature that were closer to the size and price of the place we live in now. The production company was more like “We’ll just visit the real estate agent’s place, then your place, then we’ll find another place when we get there,” but the agent’s place is four times as expensive as ours, and the other one is more than twice as expensive (they altered all of the prices on the show), so it just seems strange to have such wildly varying apartments when we say at the beginning that we’re looking for something small! Oh well, I’m still really happy with our studio apartment.

  4. I saw the episode and really liked it. I am living in Bishkek also, I just moved here from Florida and I am working for a American Company that has a contract at the Airport. I would like to find out more information about the realtor you used. I think his name is Harvey Wagor. I have folks that work for me and they’re always looking for housing. Any assistance would be greatly appreciative. Thanks

    1. Hi Robert, I’m glad you liked the episode! Unfortunately, most of the details in the show are made up and Harvey isn’t a real real estate agent. Have you tried for finding housing? I haven’t tried them, but I hear they’re okay.

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