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Swiss came to Kyrgyzstan to snowboard and stayed here forever

An economist Samuel Maret first came to Kyrgyzstan from Switzerland in 2000 to snowboard, but he fell in love with Kyrgyzstan, a beautiful Kyrgyz girl and could not return to his homeland.

Samuel helps his wife to develop a travel agency and bring up two children.

— What surprises you in Kyrgyzstan?

— I came to Kyrgyzstan being aware of the greatness of the Tien Shan mountains. They are immense, unexplored. I like Bishkek, which is not without reason considered as a green city.

— What in Bishkek reminds you of your hometown?

Nothing. My hometown is a small historical town with about 15,000 inhabitants.

Samuel Maret

— What do you miss in Bishkek?

— Not much, but, of course, I miss my family and my friends.

— What is your favorite place in Bishkek?

— I like Dubovyi (Oak) Park and Panfilov Park. There you feel like in a forest, not in a busy city.

— What do you like in the national cuisine?

— My favorite dish in the Kyrgyz cuisine is kurtob. This is one of the few dishes that is cooked without meat. As for Central Asian cuisine, I most like fried lagman.

— What are you afraid to even try? 

I have tried everything except for lamb fries. I’m not a fan of the entrails of animals.

Samuel Maret

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

— It’s interesting to meet different people from different places: from Korea to Germany, from Senegal to Yakutia. I learned a lot about the peoples of the former USSR.

Corruption and bad governance disappoint me like everyone else, but these big problems are being solved gradually, and Kyrgyzstan has become the best example for the CIS countries in terms of freedom and democracy, fight against corruption.