Zarlasht Sarmast from Afghanistan has been living in Bishkek for 3 years. The girl arrived in Kyrgyzstan to continue her studies at the American University of Central Asia. She is studying International and Comparative Politics and is working as an intern for an international organization.
— What surprises you in Bishkek?
— I honestly didn’t know much about Kyrgyzstan before coming here. What surprised me the most in Kyrgyzstan was social life. I was thinking it might be hard to get to know other people and make new friends. Later I found out that people in Kyrgyzstan «some of them» are very friendly and social. Bishkek is very small and it is great, because when you have friends (even just a few) you will come across while walking in the streets. It feels like you have lived in this city forever. It’s a nice feeling.
— What do you miss living in Bishkek?
— The one thing I miss a lot while I am in Bishkek is my family and my daily life back home. It is very different in Bishkek. You never know when the day passes and all of a sudden you look at your watch and you see that it’s already like 8 or 9 pm. Well, partly it is because I am very busy but partly i think that’s how just days go on in Bishkek, you never know...
— What in Kyrgyzstan reminds you of your hometown?
— Some of the food in Kyrgyzstan is very similar to Afghan food, like plov, manty and lagman. Whenever I eat any of these it reminds me of my mom’s cooking back home.
— What is your favorite place in Bishkek?
— My favorite place in Bishkek is my university (American University of Central Asia). It’s located right in front of beautiful green hills and the view from our classrooms is breathtaking. I also love my apartment. I live in the center. All the supermarkets, malls, stores and restaurants are super close and there is a lot of people walking around in the street near my apartment. It’s just beautiful.
— What national dishes do you like and what are you afraid to even try?
— I love lagman. It’s so tasty and quick. It has all the nutrients that body needs, it’s a complete meal and most important of all it’s just yummy!! My favorite place to eat lagman is a tiny fast food place. Their lagman is so ludicrous that I can’t explain in words. Sometimes I eat two big bowls of it.
There is nothing that I am afraid to taste in Kyrgyzstan because everything I have tried so far was just so tasty.
-What has fascinated and disappointed you in close acquaintance with the local population?
— Most of the people in Bishkek are very friendly and nice and that is one reason why I like living in Bishkek, it has fascinated me a lot. But I lost my wallet twice. It was stolen from my hand-bag and that really disappointed me.