Bishkek Block Party

If you’re in Bishkek, then congratulations! You have plans this Saturday! (Yay for you!) (If you’re not here, this post will be a total bummer for you. Sorry.) Farrell and his bandmates have been hard at work organizing what is shaping up to be an epic music festival called the Bishkek Block Party. As I’ve …

the last camera

I swear, this is the last one I’ll buy in Kyrgyzstan. Dun duh-duh daaaaaaah: But what a great way to end my Soviet camera purchases, with my dream camera: the Sputnik. A friend and I stopped into an antiques shop that I had previously visited searching for the Sputnik. I wasn’t looking for any more …

Kyrgyz Music Friday

Kyrgyz Music Friday is a (sometimes) weekly feature in which I post a pop music video from an artist in Kyrgyzstan. It could be catchy, annoying, funny, insightful, brilliant, awful, or anything in between. It’s what’s playing on the radio, what all the cool kids are listening to these days. Kyrgyz Music Friday is not …

taking the train to Issyk Kul

This is an experience that seems to make it around the various expat circles. Let’s take the train to Issyk Kul! My first reaction to hearing it was something like, really? You can do that? I just finished reading The Great Railway Bazaar and, influenced by the book, I imagined the train to Issyk Kul …

more fun with film

I’ve been shooting like crazy with my army of Soviet-era film cameras lately, testing to see if they work, getting comfortable with the settings, and taking advantage of cheap prices for developing the film. Here are some of my favorites from the recent rolls, rollover the image to see which camera I used. There are …

so much fabric

In an attempt to do as many Central Asia-related activities (and buy as many Central Asia-related things) as I possibly can before I move to Belgium, I went a bit crazy collecting different fabrics with the intention of getting some sweet threads made. Why? Mostly just because it seems like a ridiculous luxury to get …

illogical thoughts on moving to Belgium

I have so many post drafts that are long (really long) ramblings about how frustrating it is that I don’t know what the next step in my life is, how I’ve been saying for the past year that I want to move out of Kyrgyzstan by August 2013 and how by mid-July we still had …

the weird mural in Issyk Kul

This mural has become something of a legend in my mind. My former Belgian housemate first told me about it a few years ago after he drove past it and snapped a photo. “Have you heard about the painting with the big, pink dragon attacking the White House?” Uhh, no. No, I haven’t. Can you …

this is what sucks about being an expat

I had to say goodbye to a really good friend last night. Farrell played a show at an outdoor cafe with Eholami and Dad Manki. It was a beautiful, clear night, and I sat on the grass while Darwin managed to sleep for several hours in a pair of “junior-sized” noise-blocking earphones. People rocked out. …

Kazakh Music Friday

Kazakh Music Friday is a (rare) feature in which I post a pop music video from an artist in Kazakhstan. It could be catchy, annoying, funny, insightful, brilliant, awful, or anything in between. It’s what’s playing on the radio, what all the cool kids are listening to these days. Kazakh Music Friday is not trying …