Assalomu Alaykum! Salamatsyzby! здравствуйте!

Assalomu Alaykum! Salamatsyzby! здравствуйте! Hello!

My name is Kristina and I am a 26-year-old Austrian with a slight obsession with Central Asia and travelling to the more remote parts of the world. Learning a lot (of and about) languages, foreign cultures and trying to gain a better understanding of traditions while teaching German has been my mission in the past years.
Initially, this blog started out as a mere means to inform my friends and family about my life and adventures when I first moved to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It became a lot more than that to me after realizing that writing helped me to make sense of the strange world surrounding me, to deal with culture shock as well as to help me organize the chaos in my head. My Central Asian adventures haven't ended yet and I am looking forward to entertaining you with some more (crazy) stories from Kyrgyzstan in the very soon future!

I am also a couchsurf host - if you're planning a trip to Naryn, let me know on here and we can take it from there :)

I am always happy to hear from my readers, so please don't hesitate to contact me if you have comments or questions, about travel tips in Central Asia or about life in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan :)

Much love,

Mittwoch, 15. Oktober 2014

Wednesday Fun Facts I

My dear friend Thomas "complained" to me once that I should write shorter blog posts, so that he can fit reading my blog and knowing that I am okay into his (way too) busy work schedule. I will accomodate with his wish and introduce a new category to my blog, which I am cheekily going to steal from my friend Helen's blog.. )

Here you go:

* Powercuts and water outages are fairly common around here, although they rarely last longer than 12 hours (so far). There was a power cut on Friday from 9am - 5pm, and no water yesterday all day (although it temporarily came back this morning, yay, for my shower!) and today. It's okay, as long as you are prepared with a little bit of water that you can use to brush your teeth, wash your face and flush the toilet. Speaking of toilets, the odd thing is that as soon as there is no water, all public toilets get closed. i.e. all toilets at universities, at the bazar, in restaurants. While the toilet infrastructure in Central Asia is generally quite bad, I am not sure if locking all public toilets is the best solution. My friend Liz and I were hanging out and working in the international office, until she said she'd be back in 5 minutes to go to the bathroom. She came back 45 minutes later.. she realised my strange look (and, possibly, worried - 45 minutes is a very long sitting!) and said, "The water's out!! I couldn't find an open toilet." Well, that explains everything!

* As I have mentioned in my previous blog, Naryn is located in a valley surrounded by mountains. While it is on the route to China, people start to transport less and less fresh produce such as vegetables and fruits to Naryn when it gets colder. For example, while you can still buy tomatoes in winter, prices are extortionate.. a kilo of tomatoes costs 17som at the moment. In winter, one tomato (!) costs 150som (which is more than 2 Euro).. ouch. That means that what you can buy in winter, is basically potatoes, cabbage and beet roots. At least I am not in danger of contracting scurvy. So, on Sunday my friend David and I started preserving and canning food, cooked up tons and tons of stews, tomato sauces and other variations of available vegetables to fill them into sterilized glasses. Currently, I think we have about 20 glasses... gladly, his Kyrgyz hostsisters helped us cook and sterilize. My lesson of the day, however, was not how to can food, but that I would be a bad Kyrgyz housewife. One of David's sisters had cleaned 3.5 carrots when I just finished my first one.... whoops. 

* Eine kleine Deutsch Stilblüte: Meine Studis mussten eine kleine Wiederholung zum Thema Familie schreiben, damit ich sehen konnte, ob sie das neue Vokabular auch lernen bzw können. Die Gruppe ist relativ schwach, vielleicht A1+, und wir sprachen über verschiedene Formen der Familie. Also sollten sie, unter anderem, die folgende Lückenübung ausfüllen: Wenn die Frau arbeitet, muss der ___________________ die Kinder _________________________. (dazu gab es auch ein kleines Bild, das sie schon kannten)

Richtig wäre: Wenn die Frau arbeitet, muss der (Haus)Mann die Kinder erziehen
Meine Studentin schrieb: Wenn die Frau arbeitet, muss der Kuchen die Kinder lieben.

Irgendwas mach ich falsch? :)
Aber, dafür sind sie wenigstens sonst sehr süß: :)

* Kyrgyz people love do to things very last minute. Yesterday morning my students asked me, "Can you teach us a German dance? There is a performance show tomorrow." I immediately thought of Quadrille, a dance often danced at traditional Viennese balls. They suggested we would practice on the same day, so they would be ready to shine on stage the next day. I cancelled my Russian lesson and a private lesson, and spent the next two and a half hours downloading music and analysing dance videos in order to memorize the steps - it's been at least 4 years since I last danced quadrille. About 20 minutes before our rehearsal, one of my students called me: "I am sorry Kristina, but we decided to do a different dance". Cheers. In the end, they ended up not dancing at all. Here's a picture of the performance show:

* I went for a walk on a cemetery the other day.. look for yourself how stunningly beautiful it (and the weather!) was :)

Mountains with snow tops in the very back :)

Hm, what I've just written would suggest that I haven't understood the idea of short fun facts.. consequently, my blog post didn't end up that much shorter than my usual ones. I am obviously not so good at keeping myself short.. sorry, Thomas!.. but hey - people love bullet points, right? :)

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