Me-go: Around-the-World

Biding Time in Bishkek


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My embassy outing yesterday did not go well. When I arrived my interpreter, Nargiza, talked to the guards who didn’t know if the consulate was coming to work or not. After some phone calls it was determined that he was at a conference and wouldn’t be in. We helped two other travelers, a Japanese guy and a British girl who was flying out the next morning at 7am. The appropriate word is “was” because she had no visa and no hope of getting on for days.

Nargiza called the embassy from the guards phone and made an appointment for me to come in on the 31st, two days later. We thought this was strange because the 31st is a Kyrgyz holiday so, although we will try, we’re not hopeful things will work out. Everything’s up in the air until then.

In brighter news, this morning I got the first two rolls out of the bread man’s oven and it was still steaming inside when I put chocolate and bananas on it for breakfast. Two newly arrived travelers from my guesthouse went to get an Uzbek visa. I actually asked them on the street (I was waiting for the bread) if they needed help because they were standing around looking at a guidebook. They dismissed me so I left them alone. I could have told them it was pointless to go to the embassy (because it’s closed) and to go to the embassy without a translator. But they were pretty firm in refusing my help so I’ll let them figure it out themselves.

I’ve been walking around town for the past few days looking for thermal underwear, a disposable camera and a sketchbook. I have given up on the sketchbook and bought blank paper. Finding something without lines or a grid was a feat in itself. I bought thread yesterday to repair my pants and will use that to bind a book myself. I saw some guys with papercutters in the “mall” in the underpass so they may come in useful. Today I found a fancy mall on the far South side of the city with a movie theater, food court and disposable cameras. I have been keeping my eye out for one since China and was starting to give up. All of the stores in Bishkek are having their summer sales so thermals aren’t quite in season, even in the outdoor shops. I have looking in at least five outdoor shops with no luck.

Tomorrow’s the big holiday and I will probably miss the national games in the hippodrome because I will be standing hopefully in front of the Uzbek embassy when they start. I’ve heard about a parade and the town has been decked out in flags and banners so there’s sure to be something worth seeing near the former Lenin Square. I’m always up for a few soldiers marching in unison.

6 responses to “Biding Time in Bishkek”

  1. unplug Avatar

    Good luck with your Visa!

    Disposable camera? Any special use for that? How’s your Kino keeping up?

  2. unplug Avatar

    Kino = Nikon 🙂

  3. Megan Avatar


    The disposable is for my cartwheel photos (I do a cartwheel in each place). It’s nice to have them on film on the same roll plus I don’t want to hand my Nikon to a stranger and then run off to cartwheel!

    The Nikon is great. It’s really nice to have an SLR again and the lens is amazing. I’m using the telephoto MUCH more than I would have thought. The UV filter’s a bit scratched somewhow. It gets really heavy walking around though which is a shame, I’m keeping my eye out for a backpack because the shoulderbag isn’t cutting it if the camera’s in there.

    The souvenir shops in Bishkek have a ton of old Russian cameras for sale.

  4. unplug Avatar

    Thanks for your fast answer.

    Don’t worry about the scratches, that’s just what UV Filters are for. 🙂

    Wish I could be there. Good luck on your journey, hope you’re having a great (or at least adventoures) time.

  5. stu thompson Avatar
    stu thompson

    Maybe they refused you help because your face was smeared with chocolate, bananas and bread crumbs? 🙂 Seriously…I am always cautions of help when on the road. Sometimes people are normal and being helpful (like you) and sometimes they are scammers and sometimes they are mentally deranged!

  6. Megan Avatar

    I took a shower sometimes and made sure to get all the chocolate off!