One thing I still love about the city are the bazaars. Other spaces may feel commercial, contested, but the bazaars are giant interconnected communities with emphasis on person-to-person communication, a web of extended relations. They’re also amazing in terms of the variety. Travelers won’t find the same oddities and cultural rarities as populate bazaars across the border in Kashgar and Hotan, but the bazaars here do have everything you might need for everyday life (and then some).
This week’s find was a compact and comprehensive kitchen stuff store by the west entrance of the Orto Sai Bazaar (the produce entrance). I’ve walked past it a dozen times, but never before gone in. My loss, for it’s amazing. It’s like Sur La Table met the Target kitchenware section, added in a few Central Asian items, and reduced their prices by fifty percent.
There are the basics – pots, pans and bowls; actual silverware sets; water boilers and French press coffee makers; a great variety of cookie sheets, cake moulds and oven dishes; garlic presses, whisks and strainers of every kind; and – the first I’ve ever seen in Kyrgyzstan – [cute] tea thermoses with the tea strainer built in. In short, it’s basically a menagerie of all the cooking stuff I’ve ever seen in Bishkek – and some I hadn’t – all in one place, and at really reasonable prices.
Check out my other bazaar posts:
More pictures from the Orto Sai Bazaar here