30 hours of travel time is no joke. Still, there’s something immediately moving about feeling the jet touch down in a country you can hardly imagine, surrounded by people that speak and look entirely different than you do. We stepped onto the concourse and the air bit cold and smelled almost of woodsmoke.
We made it through customs (with Kyrgyz guards that had the coolest hats ever) and were intercepted by Will and Inura from the Embassy. They escorted us to our van and brought us to our home for the next week. It was about 5:30 AM, so we drank some whiskey and waited for breakfast. Then we passed out.
–loading the van–
Then you wake up to this:
Boom. You’re in Bishkek. A city covered in snow and still reminiscent of the Soviet Bloc. I walked for about an hour this morning and gathered the following shots. It’s hard assigning words to the feeling you get wandering around a city you’re completely unfamiliar with. Every step holds something utterly new. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the simple things I take for granted in my own country.
–Electric busses and fur coats.–
–There are a lot of these little newsstands around. I like them.–
–Architecture from another place AND another time–
— Bombastic poster. I’m going back tomorrow to try and grab one.–
In the afternoon we were taken to meet with Ordo Sakhna. They are widely considered the best traditional Kyrgyz folk music band in the world and it showed immediately. The band gave us an incredible exposition of each of their instruments and I caught a good chunk of it on video.
After we gave a similar demonstration the Ordo Sakhna, we got work figuring out what we were going to play together. It was a moving experience collaborating with these seasoned and disciplined musicians and we’re surely going to have a lot to show once we perform with them. Stay tuned for more.
Finally, we started packing up and the inevitable happened. Musicians can’t help themselves when there’s a new instrument in the room. She took to it quickly.
Already we love this country. We’ll be back shortly with more!