For the last few days, I’ve been back in Bishkek, the capitol of Kyrgyzstan. After a little more than a month straight in Karakol, Bishkek seems like a vast metropolis! Compare that to my first visit here 11 months ago when Bishkek seemed like a small city. And it was compared to Almaty where I lived at the time. But now, I walk the streets of Bishkek and think, “Wow, they have everything here!”
They also have traffic. In Almaty, traffic looks like something out of the movies it is so horrific. In Bishkek, before moving to Karakol, it was heavy at times but not too bad. Then comes Karakol. Typically, you don’t need to cross at street corners when you walk, just wait a couple of seconds and the road will be clear. Generally, only one street is busy and it just comes in waves. Now, move to the present. I come back to Bishkek and on the marshrutka ride in I start wondering where all these cars came from. Traffic is absolutely crazy!! Daryl and Sarah have been in Bishkek too and we all think it is far worse than ever before.
Now the question is, is it really worse or does it just seem worse? I ask because it looks to me like someone sold a mountain to buy a whole fleet of cars to flood the streets! I’ve never seen so many cars here before. Then again, my perspective may be slightly altered because of village life. I don’t really know to be honest. I just know that I’ll be glad to get back to the slower pace in the village. This trip to the big city is wearing me out. I’m ready to wait for the cows to cross the road instead of the never-ending stream of vehicles.