Things to do before leaving Kyrgyzstan

I bought my tickets, I’m leaving Kyrgyzstan (temporarily) on November 1st. I won’t get back until January 24, meaning I’ll be in the states for nearly three months. That’s practically a whole life chapter, an entire season in a different location.

I’ve got about four weeks until I fly back and… you know, give birth and such. I’m slightly panicked, not because of… you know, giving birth and such, but because I want to make sure I accomplish any necessary Fall/Winter activities in Bishkek before I officially skip out.

1. Photograph the Galactic Marshrutka! I’ve let this goal completely slip away from me this year. While the weather is still tolerable, I should grab my camera (and Farrell) and park myself at a bus stop one weekend and attempt to catch the rare specimen in its native habitat.

2. Enjoy a pumpkin spice latte at Sierra Coffee. Bishkek, congratulations. You’re officially one step closer to becoming a developed country by offering this delicacy. In fact, I’m pretty sure governments around the world are downgrading the hazard-multipliers on their Kyrgyzstan-based diplomats’ salaries at the news of the pumpkin spice latte’s arrival. Yes, I know that I’ll be able to drink pumpkin spice lattes on any and every street corner I want once I get back to the States, but this is about progress. Clearly, Bishkek has it.

3. Do some people-watching at Ala Too or the Philharmonia. I haven’t done this in a while, but I always end up taking good photos when I head down there.

4. Go to the flea market at Orto-Sai bazaar. Around the time I thought about starting Kyrgyz Music Friday, I also had an idea to feature weekly photos of weird things I found at various bazaars. Turns out, I’m never particularly motivated to accomplish the act of physically getting myself to a bazaar. But, I still like looking for old Soviet cameras (that don’t cost $100+ like the ones at Tsum) and other strange items (like this accordion that Farrell bought for $10) and I should give it one last shot before I have to do it with a real, live baby strapped to me.

5. Eat some pumpkin manty. Now is the season for pumpkin manty, and I want to eat some. I’d like to think that it’s healthier than the regular meat-stuffed manty, but I’m pretty sure the inclusion of chunks of animal fat still make it pretty dismal in terms of nutrition (though incredibly delicious).

What about you, friends? Are you planning any must-do activities for the upcoming months, wherever you are?