With our economy in taters and Europe so expensive, the smart crowd is vacationing in less expensive but more exotic locales. In 2009 coolsters will head to stylish Khirghizstan, where the dollar is still king.
Romantic Khirghizstan is a mixture of colorful tribal rites and late Soviet-style charm. Here one discovers the joys of the heralded Khirghiz cuisine, based on cabbage and beets, and the national drink, Koumis, fermented mare's milk.
The Khirghiz are wonderfully friendly, but few speak English. To enjoy fashionable Khirghizstan and understand its culture and people, you should master a few phrases:AbÃsÃnÃÃ bolso, ku/nu/m coq debe? When will the border crossing reopen? Biyirdu/u/ cigitke acalduu kiyik colug"at Kempir o/lso/. When you get around to it — of course. How silly of me to have asked. Saqta, abiyir tapsa balasÃ, atasÃna baq not. Driver, a wheel just fell off this bus. Baq u/c"u/n aq cu/r, alÃs"-beris"ke taq cu/r AbiyiriÃdi cas"ÃÃdan. Yes, since the roads are impassable, it doesn't matter. I agree. Abiyir. Cabbage. Abiyir tapsa balasÃ. Cabbage and beets. Abiyir tapsa balasÃcalayt. Cabbage and beet soup. Abiyir tapsa balasÃ Â colu c"ildin arÃs"Ãnan qÃsqa. A julienne of lightly seared carrots served on a bed of mesquite-roasted cabbage accompanied by a beet-and-cabbage coulis. Ad abiyur taosa balasE, calduu kiyik Ãrg"a qac"at? If you are all out of cabbage and beets, what do you have? "qag"a as" bÃs"Ãrtpa,U?s"u/go/ngo/ ot caqtÃrba vodka. Since it's my only choice, I'll have a bottle of vodka. Acalduu kiyik adÃrg"a vodka qac"at vodka? What is the difference between the 50-cent bottle and the 80-cent bottle? Acalduu qarg"a bu/rku/t menen oynoyt? How much longer does the temporary blindness last with the 50-cent bottle? Acalduu qarg"a qolg"o tu/s"po/y qoyboyt? Is this Kirghiz currency or used chewing gum wrappers? Acalduu qarg"a torg"o tu/s"o/t Curly, Larry, or Moe? Why does each Kirghiz bill have aÂ portrait of either Curly, Larry, or Moe? Acalduu to/o/ carda Curlys ottoyt 14.2dapay Larry, c"oc"qo aÃda Larrys ottoyt 4.37 dapay Moe. I understand — 14.2 Curlys equal one Larry and 4.37 Larrys equal one Moe. Acal menen azap qas"-qabaqtÃn ortosunda. But I have a confirmed reservation. Qayda coq,"Ãqqan is"te payda yurt. I am not sleeping in a yurt. Qayda coq,"Ãqqan is"te payda yurt qas"-qabaqtÃn ortosunda. I am not sleeping in a yurt filled with camel dung. Ãz ooruudan ayÃg"at Coq,"Ãqqan is"te payda yurt qas"-qabaqtÃn ortosunda? How much is the yurt that is only half-filled with camel dung? AcÃras"ar dos, eerdin artqÃ qas"Ãn surayt dollars ar Koumiss? What is the dollar equivalent of three quarts of fermented mare's milk? AcÃras"ar tamÃr, eerdin artqÃ Ac"ta cegenCurlys, dollars quyqanÃ toqto unutpa,Toqto cegen quyqanÃ ac"ta unutpa koumis qas"Ãn surayt?I understand you don't accept Kirghiz Curlys, dollars, rubles, or credit cards, but where can I find fermented mare's milk at 10 p.m.? Ac"arc"ÃlÃqta Kirghiz kemege saqtaba, Ku/u/gu/mdo/ do/bo/ Tajikstan? Do Kirghiz men wear those silly hats because you lost a bet with Tajikistan? Ãla elek Yeltsin sandÃqta, BÃc"Ãla elek qunduz bar? Did Yeltsin break up the Soviet Union just to get rid of Kirghizstan? Ac" bala toq baladay oynoboyt? Where is the restroom? Ac" biyden, toq it caqs"Ã? Any tree in particular? Es"ek attan Ac" kis"i urus"c"aaq, ArÃq qoy tÃrÃs"c"aaq ozor. I'm sorry. I thought you were a tree. I'm temporarily blind. Ac"arc"ÃlÃqta kemege saqtaba. Calm down. It will wash out.
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