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Keiko Izushi: I'm afraid to try sheep’s eyes, but ears are delicious!

Japanese Keiko Izushi came to Kyrgyzstan almost two years ago — in January 2016 — to work as the Deputy Country Director at the UN World Food Program. She told to 24.kg news agency that «she has been in love with Kyrgyzstan for almost two years.»

— What surprised you the most in Kyrgyzstan?

— People take me for a Kyrgyz and often ask how to get somewhere when I walk through the streets of Bishkek. I already speak Russian a little and answer: «Moscow — Panfilov Street». This is the address of the office of the World Food Program in Kyrgyzstan.

And I really like that one can freely walk around the city. It’s such a pleasure! Before Kyrgyzstan, I worked in Afghanistan, where it’s not so easy to walk along the streets of the city.

Keiko Izushi

— What in Bishkek reminds you of your hometown?

— A Japanese restaurant, its name, translated from Japanese, means «father’s house.» I often look in on it alone and together with my friends — fine cuisine and the atmosphere of my native Japan. I feel at home there.

— What do you like the most in Bishkek / Kyrgyzstan? What are your favorite places?

— Kyrgyzstan has amazing nature — stunning mountains, which one can get to in a half an hour.

And, of course, emerald Issyk-Kul lake, horseback riding are the things that attract many tourists to Kyrgyzstan and make you missing them even if you stay here for a time. I go out into the mountains with pleasure and ride horses when have free days.

Keiko Izushi

I like the Japanese restaurant, which I have already mentioned, and, of course, Chon-Kurchak Gorge and Supara with national cuisine. By the way, it is very beautiful in autumn there, nature is amazing — mountains and yellow-green forests along the slopes of the gorge.

— What do you like the most in the national cuisine?

I love plov and shashlyk. And an irreplaceable dish on the table in the cold season — shorpo, and in summer it is, of course, okroshka!

— And what you will not risk to try?

— The sheep’s eyes. I can not make up my mind to try this delicacy, although I know that it is very honorable. In any case, I’ve already tried sheep’s ears — it’s delicious! I will also try the eyes some day.

— What has fascinated or disappointed you in close acquaintance with the local population?

— The people in Kyrgyzstan are very brave and strong, infinitely kind and hospitable!

I am amazed that when being on a visit you are not only deliciously fed, but also always presented a large bag of food!

Keiko Izushi

But punctuality is not your feature. I always come to meetings on time and still can not get used to the fact that people in Kyrgyzstan are often late and consider this a norm. They say that you may not have watch, but will always find some time.

And people in Kyrgyzstan also know how to spend time with family and friends — this is what I appreciate and what I still have to learn.

Keiko Izushi