The misadventures of a Tefl teacher in the Switzerland of Central Asia
Friday, 29 October 2010
The Typical Tourist Bit
So here comes the first 'ooo look at the big public buildings, statuary and general stately gubbins' bit required in any good travelogue/set of holiday snaps/MI5 report. I went to Bishkek's main sqaure, dragging my vague knowledge of the country with me, took some photos, got looked at funny, and here is what I found.
The Kyrgyz flag, on a big pole, guarded by two guardy chaps with all the standing still and looking official skills required of the role. The circular shape on the flag is known as a 'tunduk' in Kyrgyz and symbolises life and eternity and jelly beans and frothy coffee (made those last two up actually. Sorry, got carried away). The pointy bits around the outside of the circle represent the sun and the crosshatching in the middle is the view looking up out of the centre of a yurt. All in all, I rather like it
Here is the parliament building, all big and imposing and tediously Soviet. As you can see from all the banners hung up outside, there is some very active political debate going on at the moment in Kyrgyzstan (for 'active debate' read 'political tension you could cut with a spoon if you didn't have a knife handy'). The banners probably say something like 'give us the government we have freely voted for you corrupt, bribe-taking, fat-cat, politko pig-dogs' but with my Russian reading skills it might actually say '50% off all bedroom tables and cabinets at IKEA for a limited time only'.
Here is a big, floaty, statue person. She probably represents 'liberty' or 'the triumph of the people' or 'that scene from titanic where he picks her up and it's all romantic'. Not quite sure which though.
Here is some more triumphalness (or should that be 'triumphancy'?).
And those two are just some pictures of the main square around the parliament building.
So there you go, a bit of genuine touristy things-to-point-at-and-take-photos-of. End of the first week, off for a potter round a national park tomorrow, Halloween party tomorrow night (they did apple bobbing at the school today, which impressed me muchly) then actually having to do some work on monday. No doubt you will hear from me on sunday with tales of high-altitude views and costumed debauchary.
Untill then, До свидания (that's 'goodbye' by the way).