Thomo’s Hole has a reader in Kyrgyzstan finally but still none from Kazakhstan. I remember my trip to Kazakhstan fondly (see Kazakhstan – First Impressions – First Contact). I would like to visit Kyrgyzstan (and Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for that matter as well) but I cannot see a way to get there in the immediate future. I’m not so much in a rush to get to Turkmenistan. Why Kyrgyzstan I hear you ask? One reason is to see one end of the Ferghana Valley and Jalalabad which lies on the edge of the valley. Another is, well, just to see it and to have a look around Bishkek as well.
Of course, I also want to see Tashkent in Uzbekistan and yes, I could see the Ferghana Valley in Uzbekistan as well as I could in Kyrgyzstan – but hey, you know how much I like to drift around. It would be kind of nice to visit all 5 of the old Soviet ‘stan republics. Maybe in a few years time.
I forgot – over a week ago it was New Year for the Kazakh folks that live in the west of Mongolia (and, I guess, in Uigur A.R. in China and in Kazakhstan). The New Year holiday in the west of Mongolia is known as Nauriz Kozhe (I think) and it occurs in March each year. It is, according to some, an Islamic Holiday (how come I missed it sitting here in Saudi Arabia?) and it marks the changing of the year. Nauriz is, however, the Persian word for New Year so maybe that is why I have not run across it in the Middle East.
So, Happy New Year guys … and the next one coming up is the Thai New Year, Songkran, which occurs around 14 to 17 April in Thailand. More about that later.
Now, if Asel or Ascar is reading this, please, drop me a line and let me know what happens in Kazakhstan around this time. I was in Kazakhstan in March 2005 but I do not recall this holiday. Maybe I left just before it happens.
Kazakhstan has apparently been celebrating Nauryz Holiday falling on 22 March since gaining its independence. The holiday is a celebration of the return of Spring.
Now I wonder if anyone managed to lift the Ox this year?
It has been a couple of weeks. I have been in Kazakhstan and I could not get access to this personal space (or indeed, MSN). What a lovely place though. I am in love with the mountains that sit there behind Almaty – flat one way, glorious snow covered mountains the other.
I have also been lucky in picking up some new work. I will be working in Mongolia for the next 12 months or so. It will be great to move into this role as it takes me back into the IT centre for a period of time – sort of reintroducing myself to the coal face.
Did I mention how nice both Kazakhstan and the people there are? If you get a chance to visit, do take it.
Well it is happening. Approval and everything has come through so, gentle reader, Thomo is off to Kazakhstan this Thursday. Leaving Seoul in the afternoon and getting into Almaty in the early evening. I shall spend two weeks there.
This will be cool for a couple of reasons. First is that I think that Kazakhstan makes country number 51 I have been to. The second is that the Khazars who (I think) settled there are one of the armies I have an interest in from my hobby.
We shall see. Will Thomo drink the water? What foreigner shuddering food is special in Kazakhstan? All will be revealed here and in Thomo’s Hole over the coming weeks.