Opinion: Kyrgyzs country

I’m not saying Kyrgyzstan but Kyrgyzs country. I found Kyrgyzs people in China, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and you can find them in some other parts as well, like Uzbekistan. Therefore the political borders do not make much sense here (they don’t make much sense anywhere really). This is a case of people making a country, and not the other way around.

It’s quite easy to distinguish Kyrgyzs people: the long wool white hats will speak for themselves. Older people wear them all the time, but lots of young ones as well (they even adapted them and made them more fashionable). In a way, it looks like they’re showing how proud of their country they are. And they probably are.

Kyrgyzs people are really sociable. They’re friendly and smily (more men than women). Up in the mountains they’re more reserved, the closer you get to cities they come and speak to you more. They are not as open as Tajiks maybe, but that doesn’t mean anything bad; if anything, the other way around, since Tajiks can be too much sometimes. Still, away from the mountains everybody will come and ask you where you’re from, name and few other basic things. Yes, it can be tiring sometimes.

Though it’s not an expensive country, there’re quite a few things that felt expensive, especially sleeping. Don’t expect to find easily anything below 8 USD (that’d be some 400 som at the moment); most of the time they ask for at least 10, not including food. Food on the other hand is pretty cheap, and it shouldn’t cost more than 100 som per meal.

This is a weird subject. Depending on who you speak to and where, the visions vary lots. Near Sari Tash (in the south) it feels as if they don’t really care what country they belong to. They’ve got their animals and their fields and nothing changes there. Further up north you will hear people speaking as if they were still part of Russia.

Most of TV channels are Russians though, there’re only a few Kyrgyzs. And very often they show documentaries about how great life was under the Soviet Union. Yes, they try to control the minds just like they do in the “west”.

There’s just one thing for sure: they don’t like Uzbeks. Every Kyrgyzs who mentioned Uzbeks told us they’re always shooting. Also, expect to find the borders between those two countries closed at anytime (it did happen while we were there). The weird thing is that in border towns or cities there are lots of Uzbeks living in Kyrgyzstan.

The good thing comes for tourists: on top of needing no visa to enter the country (at least we don’t need it with an European passport), the guys at the borders are pretty nice. You can find a little bit of everything of course, but mostly they are really friendly. No big inspections neither. Nor pointing at you with their guns.

Can’t say much on this subject. Our trip was very safe and we never had any issue, but we heard some random stories, specially involving womem camping on their own and militars/police. Also, they’re supposed to be asking for money from tourists they find on the road; we never felt that. Police always treated us perfectly, even invited us for food.

There were suppose to be some problems with kids messing around with bikes. It did happen once in Aluchir, in the Pamirs, when some kids took away a pump from our bikes. But appart from that, no problem at all.

The southern border can be dangerous sometimes, since looks like that route is used to transport drugs from Afghanistan. It can involve some shooting, they told us. We never saw anything: it felt safe as it can be!!



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