Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Of Wild Times, Felines and The Coming of The Big Chill

It has arrived.  After an apparently unseasonally warm November, my first Kyrgyz snow has finally arrived.  And arrived in some style; on friday the heavens let rip and verily did cover the land with not so much a blanket as a TOG 13.5 duvet of snow.

Here be the snow as she do fall

This, combined with the large ammount of parkland and foliage in Bishkek town, has given me the vaguelly disconcerting feeling that a faun mihgt accost me at any moment, or I might see a sled mushing by driven by a disgruntled dwarf.  This feeling has only been compounded by this piece of graffitti in the big underpass on Sovietskaya.

The Lion is away on business, but his name is still in the mind of streetwise beavers with a can of spraypaint to hand.
Incidentally, while we are on the topic of felines, I would like to draw your attention to a genuine Kyrgyz election poster....

Political propoganda par excellence

This is surely the ultimate way of gaining votes (and heavy duty political credibility);  have yourself snapped in a boyband pose showing off your guns next to a big cat.  Oh Mr Brown, if only you'd been pictured with a tiger, your fate could have been so different now.
The duvet has died back to a thick wooly blanket now, but the Giant has walled his garden, the White Witch rules the land and the Big Chill is here to stay, three months of solid post-soviet winter.   It's a strange experience though, I've walked contentedly (wrapped up like a good boy though mum, it's ok) through temperatures of -15 and lower, but not felt as baltically cold as I've felt in the UK before at much higher temperatures.  The lack of lashing rain or biting winds makes the experience much easier to bear, and the stillness of the cold gives everything a rather fairytale quality, as if you are being provided with the concept of cold, without having it thrust in your face.

The still winter morning in Erkindik Boulevard - the statue is pointing the way to Cair Paravel

And indeed rain (or rather its other lower temperature precipitation brothers snow and ice) has done nothing to stop play, the last week or so in Bishkek's ex-pat bubble has included a cast of German nihilist philosophy loving prostitutes, 'never have I ever' drinking games in English theme pubs, Cuban cigar toking Alabamans, a clinic offering a range of VD tests under the title 'Sex in the City', White Russians, Geordie shenanigans and a plethora of vodka toasts.   All in all, just another quiet week in Central Asia.
The view of the first snow from a London School window.  The Builders' ambitions of completing the work before the snow hit sadly unachieved.

 And so, once again I must bid you all adieu for a few days.  There is a strong possibility of a night bus to Karakol tomorrow, following by a weekend of skiing, so I may have shenanigans to report soon enough.  Untill then, farewell to all and to all a good night.

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