Never did plan to go, anyway
January 14, 2006 4:55 AM   Subscribe

Kyrgyzstan, ever heard of it? The place is quickly going down the toilet, so no worries, you aren't missing much.
posted by Meatbomb (16 comments total)
Great success!
posted by killdevil at 5:38 AM on January 14, 2006

Kyrgyzstan? Climbers love it. That is, if they can avoid being taken hostage.
posted by dglynn at 6:17 AM on January 14, 2006

An absolutely gorgeous place with maybe the friendliest people I have ever met. Whe I was there is July there was a lot of excitement about the new government. It saddens me to hear this news. Though when you consider the opportunity set available to this country this doesn't really surprise. Culturally fragmented, non existant infrastructure, limited economic opportunity.

That said if anyone has the opportunity to go they should. The kidnapping issues were mostly in the past and are pretty geographically limited.
posted by JPD at 6:23 AM on January 14, 2006

My brother was there recently for three years (Foreign Service) and liked it very much. It is indeed very corrupt, but it is also a fascinating, friendly country.
posted by Peach at 6:44 AM on January 14, 2006

You know, you can get assassinated for running for president in any random corrupt shithole. But a place where you can get assassinated for running for the chairmanship of the national Olympic committee—that's a special kind of place!

Good set of links, thanks.
posted by languagehat at 7:00 AM on January 14, 2006

This BBC documentary was fantastic.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 7:15 AM on January 14, 2006

A friend of mine lives there now. He moved there out of frustration with our government, saying that he'd rather live in a place where the corruption was honest.
posted by Revvy at 9:11 AM on January 14, 2006

I'd highly recommend visiting Lake Issyk-Kul when you do visit. It's absolutely gorgeous and dirt-cheap.
posted by xthlc at 9:13 AM on January 14, 2006

And Song-Kul as well. There are Yurt stays. Amazing.
posted by JPD at 10:49 AM on January 14, 2006

Some friends of mine hosted a visitor from there years ago. She was a bit shy but definitely friendly. And the pictures she showed me from home were beautiful places.
posted by weston at 12:17 PM on January 14, 2006

Yes, the place is beautiful and all, if you like nature. And the people are friendly, yes. The women are beautiful, plenty of Western men I know have taken local wives.

But not a pleasant place to plan a future in, what with these vampires at the top queueing to suck the lifeblood from the citizens. When Akaev was ousted people were optimistic for a very short time, but it seems there are plenty of "big men" eager to have their turn at lining their pockets, and their friends' and families' pockets.

And now the mafia is in so tight with the politicians, and they are all so damned corrupt, that I can't imagine things turning out for the best here.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:27 PM on January 14, 2006

I've just come back from a month in the Republic of Moldova, formerly part of Romania, where, similarly to Kyrgyzstan, but on a much smaller scale, Russian Mafiosi/businessmen are also sucking the lifeblood out of a post-Soviet economy.

In a Soviet Geography course I took a few years ago, the professor remarked that it was a Soviet plan to divide the Ferghana valley between the Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to weaken the region and to perpetuate Russian dominance.

Given Moldova's own bleak outlook these days despite the geographic benefit of being in Europe, I can imagine that Kyrgyzstan's is much worse--isolated and repressed.
posted by vkxmai at 6:02 PM on January 14, 2006

Its good...I lyiek..
posted by Mr Bluesky at 10:31 PM on January 14, 2006

posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 3:34 AM on January 15, 2006

I know a dude from Kyrgyzstan. He owns a pizzeria.

That is all I have to contribute to this thread.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:22 AM on January 15, 2006

So basicaly: nice place, nice people, shitty government. With the addition of really hot babes.

Dosn't sound all that bad.
posted by delmoi at 2:01 PM on January 15, 2006

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