Thursday, October 05, 2006

Greetings from Kyrgyzstan

OK, for the record, Borat is from Kazhakstan (sp?), not Kyrgyzstan. I've seen the border between the two, and that's about all I know of that other country at this point (expect the artists I've met from there are smart and sweet)...but let's keep our 'Stans straight, OK. ;-)

I could write 50 pages on what we've done and seen in the first 5 days we've been here, but I'm pressed for time, so just wanted to give you the Headline version:

  • Arrive at 5am in Soviet-esque Manas International
  • Too Many US Airforce Planes Hogging Up the Airport
  • Gaggle of Taxi Drivers Attack Us (at 5am!!!)
  • Get into Pre-Arranged Car and Drive in Dark past the locations I had seen on the News last summer...where revolution happened...surreal...
  • Bambino's family asleep when we arrive (duh!)
  • Wait for a while...then ring bell...tearful reunion...amazingly warm hospitality
  • Drink Tea
  • Talk and Catch up
  • Drink More Tea
  • Tour of home
  • Drink More Tea
  • Walk to local merchant center with Bambino and Sister...everything's in another language!!!
  • Visit Bambino's old haunts
  • See cows, sheep, donkeys (this is the captial, mind you) etc., kamakaze taxis, trolleys, pushcarts, everyone and everything is moving here all the time
  • Visit several cemetaries to pay respect
  • Attend Wake
  • Happen upon a funeral in progress
  • Lots of attention to those who have passed...strong connection with history
  • Drink More Tea at each home we visit
  • Driving around Bishkek, the inescapable presence of the mountains makes you feel very small
  • Meet Bambino's older brother who insists we cut a sheep for tomorrow's Welcome Home Bambino party
  • Go to bazaar to choose sheep
  • Bargain for sheep
  • Pick nice fat one
  • Go to Bambino's brother's to bless the sheep (lots of praying here) before the slaughter
  • Take Before and After photos of Sheep (I have "During" photos too, but those are much to graphic to share ...will have to wait until London to share photos unfortunately)
  • Take tour of Brother's garden
  • Drink more Tea
  • Ride through Bishkek at breakneck speed, missing pedestrians by millimeters, everyone working so very hard, pushing mountains of food and goods, so many vendors selling so many items, you wonder who takes the time to buy anything
  • Go past main landmarks, Opera House, Parliament, Liberty Plaza (I made up that name for the square with the Liberty statue), shopping, TV, etc., etc.
  • Drink More Tea
  • Return home to crash for a while
  • Wake up, drink more tea
  • Give family presents

OK, so that was Day One. It gets a bit hectic after that (everyone decides to slaughter a sheep or goat and I've eaten more of each since arriving than I had my entire life...and the parts I've eaten...well, I'll spare you) and Bambino's ready to leave the Internet Cafe, so I'll have to pick up from here later.

More later!!!

PS. I saw some unpleasant exchanges on another thread... I can't stand that stuff...not here...please refrain or take it somewhere else.


Blogger kurt said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/05/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

OOOOOh. I want to see the pictures. I love these kind of places, I loved the Berber villages in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Drinking mint tea at evey stop, It's so amazing and wonderfully exotic. But where you are! It's another planet.

Ed, Bambino! I'm there with you in spirt.

10/05/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything is fine on West 27th Street.
See you in London!
L & SJ

10/05/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous David said...

Edward, your trip so far sounds great! We hope to see many pictures.

Also, there's one thing I'm sure everyone is dying to know, about the eyeballs..?

10/05/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds amazing! Donna and are jealous, what a great adventure. Can't wait to see the pics. Hi to bambino!


10/05/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Karl Zipser said...

The art blogging world has been kind of quiet without you, Ed. Take care.

10/06/2006 03:31:00 AM  
Anonymous bambino said...

Thank you so much guys, we have plenty of stroies to share and I'm sure Ed will write all details as soon as he can. But now we are in a hurry to eat more eyeballs, brain etc :)

10/06/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

I'm sad for the sheeps!


10/06/2006 11:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey cedric --from reading your comments on this blog thru the months, I feel like an old friend of yours-- though not knowing you at all--and yes, I , too, feel a little sad for the sheeps, though happy for EW and his friend "bambino"--they must really be "going through some changes" though, like the sheeps, at this moment.

10/07/2006 12:23:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I felt very sorry for the first sheep. In fact, the entire process of selecting it, taking it back to the house, and then slaughtering it was rather difficult emotionally. I was very nearly sick during the slaughter, but kept reminding myself of two things: 1) I've eaten plenty of lamb in my life...and this was how it got to my pretend this was somehow all too gruesome was to be the worst kind of hypocrite. Vegetarians can adopt that pose, but meat-eaters, like myself, have no such right. Besides, it gets easier. And 2), this was such a natural part of life here that even the children watched and played during the slaughter. Bambino's mom preferred not to watch the first cut (and I'm not sure I ever need to watch that again), but the rest was simply natural. That's how meat ends up on the table.

I'll have more on this when I can post pictures.

Thanks to everyone for the warm wishes and for checking in.

We have tons of photos, many of them simply breathtaking...soon...

10/07/2006 01:44:00 AM  
Blogger Susan Constanse said...

Well, I have to ask. What does goat taste like?

10/07/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Val Diakonov said...

You absolutely schould go to lake Issyk-Kul (pronounced "Cool"), it'll blow your mind.

One of the greatest-looking sunsets and sunrises in the world.

10/07/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

If you have time please gather some art from Kyrgiz and arrange a group show portrait of the contemporary art scene in the country. It would be a great opportunity to do that.


Is Bambino a nickname?
How old are you, Bambino?


Cedric Caspesyan

10/07/2006 02:09:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Is Cedric a nickname?
How do you pronounce it?

10/09/2006 06:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

My nickname is Centiment.



10/09/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Any relation to the rapper 50 centiment?

10/09/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

No I'm related to 50-50 Clown
(subject of a Cocteau Twins song).

I am much more into Roxanne Shante than 50 Cent, hiphop-wise.

Shante's the real legend. People will remember her some day.

Cedric Caspesyan

10/10/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous invest said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog and I bookmarked it! by the way if you are looking for investement information check out my website!

10/10/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Edward

Please could you contact me --
There's something I want to talk to you about.

Thanks a lot


10/11/2006 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...


Ohhhh the nasties...
Bypassing password blockades.

The next infornmation war is against spam,

Cedric Caspesyan

10/11/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous David said...

Cedric, did you know that in Hawaii, Spam is considered a delicacy?

10/11/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous David said...

Before you make any kind of "investement", make sure that the person you're dealing with knows how to sssspelll.

10/11/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Mike @ MAO said...

Now.. Ed..

So, when you write "Drank TEA"... that's just a Kyrgyzstan euphemism for Vodka right?

Sounds like a great trip!!

10/12/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger bathmate said...

This is wonderful posting. Thank you.


12/23/2009 03:59:00 PM  

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