Biding time in Bishkek

 Posted by on October 24, 2013
Oct 242013
 

Eastern progress has been on pause this last week as I’ve been waiting for my Kazakh visa and a care package from home. The time off has allowed me to rest, eat, post some photos to the people I’ve met on my journey and endulge in a little street photography. A genre responsible for first inspiring me to practice with a camera. You won’t find pretty landscapes, playful cats or cute babies here. It’s about trying to capture little glimpses of magic in the everyday street scene; emotions, obscurities, humour or a little bit of colour. Cropping and digital manipulation are frowned upon. Composition and framing are everything. It’s humanism meets aesthetics.

The style was first developed by the likes of Richard Kalvar and Henri Cartier Bresson in the mid 1900s and reinvented by contemporaries like Martin Parr and Alex Webb through the turn of the century. And now the new kids on the block are pushing it further; Maciej Dakowicz, Matt Stuart and the ever inspiring bunch posting to the Hardcore Street Photography Group on Flickr.

After seeing all that great work (be sure to click on the links!) you can now turn your nose up at these average snaps from a few walks around Bishkek; my home for the last week and a bit.

Kyrgyzstan, just in case you had forgotten.

Eyes and blues.

Threes

Bustle

Feeling blue

Hiding

Phones,

phones,

phones.

And of course I can’t resist a couple of details.

Can you guess what it is yet?

Over 10,000km cycled and 7 months on the road has taken it’s toll on bike and gear. Some pieces seem to be resisting the test of time well. Endura Humvee Shorts are still going strong despite daily use on the bike. MSR Whisperlite continues to fire up on every request. Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tyres are wearing but still hanging in there – I’ve now replaced the rear with the spare I was carrying so I still have a spare should I need it. Other bits of gear aren’t fairing so well.

Most frustrating of all my 3/4 length Thermarest Prolite Plus decided to delaminate a couple of weeks ago and now resembles a bouncy castle. Fortunately Cascade Designs, being the nice people they are, have agreed to replace it under the lifetime warranty. I’ve decided to upgrade and go for a Neoair Xtherm. A luxurious full length version is lighter and packs smaller than my old 3/4 Prolite.

Specialized leather mitts. A bit knackered, but probably still up for the next few thousand kilometers.

Specialized leather mitts. A bit knackered, but probably still up for the next few thousand kilometers.

Kindle Keyboard. Rattled to death.

Kindle Keyboard. Rattled to death.

The great Chinese visa debacle. Earlier this year the Chinese embassy in Bishkek and the only easy place to get a Chinese visa in Central Asia closed. It's put a spanner in the works for cyclists trying to cross Asia, many have flown to Hong Kong, abandoned China altogether or risked posting passports home. So I;ve been reunited with my second passport having got a 90 day Chinese visa in London a month ago. At the bitter frustration of every cycle tourist who's been put out by the closure the chinese embassy in Bishkek has now re-opened and is issuing visas again.

The great Chinese visa debacle. Earlier this year the Chinese embassy in Bishkek and the only easy place to get a Chinese visa in Central Asia closed. It put a giant comedy sized spanner in the works of cyclists trying to cross Asia. As a result many have flown to Hong Kong, abandoned China altogether or risked posting passports home to get their visas there. Thankfully I got a second passport before I left and managed to get a 90 day Chinese visa in London a month ago. I’ve now been reunited with the second passport but now hear news that, at the bitter frustration of every cycle tourist who’s been put out by the closure, the Chinese embassy in Bishkek has re-opened and is issuing visas again. Tsk…

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