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Amanda Trabulsi: During peak hours Bishkek is very similar to New York

Amanda Trabulsi is a graduate student at Cambridge University in the UK. She is in love with Kyrgyzstan.

She intensively learns Kyrgyz and has achieved significant success. She easily speaks the language of Manas.

But she still prefers to hold discussions on complex topics in her native English. Amanda has lived in Bishkek and Osh for a long time. She taught at various universities.

Three years ago she was a student and studied at AUCA. She came here on the university program Student Exchange.

— What surprises you in Bishkek, Amanda?

-Nothing. I’m so used to life here that I do not expect any surprises. There were no such surprises, to be honest.

— What reminds you about your hometown here in Bishkek?

— You probably will not believe me, but Bishkek is very similar to New York. During the peak hours, Bishkek looks like «big apple».

— What is missing in Bishkek? What particularly causes homesickness?

I can say what I lack when I’m not in Bishkek. I really miss the warmth of ordinary people and the delicious food.

Amanda Trabulsi

— Is there a favorite place in our capital?

— I can’t choose one place, but I can name a few: Erkindik Boulevard, all the parks. Especially near the South Gate and the park named after Ataturk.

And I like to visit this huge bazaar, called Dordoi.

— What do you like in the national cuisine?

— Almost all national dishes are delicious, but I have a slight preference: I adore boso lagman and ashlamfu.

— What are you afraid even to try?

— I eat everything. National food doesn’t cause any fear.

— What fascinated you in a close acquaintance with the local population?

— The sense of community is highly developed in Kyrgyzstan.

People here, without hesitation, rush to help each other. Even if it’s a stranger.

Amanda Trabulsi

Residents of most countries in the West should learn such mutual assistance.

— And what disappointed you?

For me this is dependence on someone else’s opinion, the desire to please members of the social circle, otherwise they will say: «uyat» (shame).

Amanda Trabulsi

I’m still surprised at how one can judge a person from other people’s statements. But I hope that these shortcomings can be eradicated with time.