Thursday, June 7, 2007
First Impressions of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Kendal, Jane and I arrived in Bishkek yesterday in the early morning. It was an exhausting trip: NY-London-Tblisi (Georgia)-Bishkek. The whole trip lasted about 20 hours including the waiting time. Bishkek's airport is a simple place. There were about 10 medium size airplanes, which more than half were US Military airplanes.
We were picked up by a local Kyrgy driver who took us to the hotel. During the ride, I had the first glimpse of the city which is very rural and green. The place is rather poor with simple housing and many soviet era cars and trucks. It made me think of my visit to Cuba. The first sign of Western influence was a huge billboard by Samsung advertising their cellphones. I was struck by Kyrgyzs people because many of them looked like south-east asian, just like me (Korean). Other half looked more like typical eastern-europeans.
It's 9:07 AM and I have to get ready for my Power Point presentation to the artists and local officals at the "City of Artists" where Kendal and I will be working on a public art project. It's an excting and challenging task.