Monday, February 19, 2007

The State of Bishkek

This morning, on the way to work, my head was drawn to the sight of an entire pig’s head laid out on the hood of a car, on top of a cloth. It was there together with assorted other parts and organs, apparently for sale. This was right in the center of town and led to the thought – This is one of those things I’m not going to see again after next week.

A couple of days ago I saw the equally surreal sight of a giant, old Soviet piece of farm machinery driving through central Bishkek.

It snowed for the first time in probably about a month today. There was a bit of snow when I returned from my visit to the States. Actually a good amount one weekend. But by the time I got over my jetlag and was ready to hit the slopes, it disappeared and stayed away. I have only one weekend left in which to do any skiing. I’m crossing my fingers a little more snow will fall in the next few days.

Today our lawyer was reading out loud the new laws recently passed out. “The state is going to provide members of parliament with personal rifles that can be used in case of self-defense,” he said, almost laughing. The state doesn’t have money to provide decent educations, but it has money to buy guns for all of its wealthy members.

I haven’t written much about the political maneuverings, but three short months from when it looked like Bakiyev could be removed from power, he’s now firmly in place. He managed to get the Parliament back into his pocket and to completely replace the cabinet, including the Prime Minister, with his own people.

The photo above is from an internet café near my house and also near the mosque. It reads, regarding long-distance calls via internet lines:


Afghanistan 16 (som)

Iraq 14

(Bagdad) 7

Syria 16

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