Disabled in Osh
We have moved relatively seamlessly into Kyrgyzstan – to Osh,the southern capital, where in 2010 there were riots in which large parts of the town were destroyed and dozens of people killed. It was put out that this was inter-ethnic, but our guide assures us that this was not the case. It was a repressive response to protests against government corruption. The country now has a woman president who has pledged to address the issues that caused the riots. It is also moving tentatively towards parliamentary democracy.
Osh is a very ancient city, although little remains that is old. Like most settlements in Central Asia, it has suffered waves of destructive invasion. We climb up Suleiman’s Throne, where the prophet Mohammed is reputed to have prayed, to a shrine called Babur’s House. A simple place devoted to the descendant of Timur who established the Mogul Empire in India. It is a place of pilgrimage and recreation for all citizens of Osh. A group of locals of mature years are in fits of giggles as they slide down some smooth rocks that are supposed to heal back pain. They are on a 40th anniversary high school reunion.
In the bazaar, we are surprised to see shoppers carrying away their purchases in Morrisons carrier bags on which is printed the slogan, ‘More reasons to shop at Morrisons’!
I find that my iPad had mysteriously become disabled, which will seriously cramp my blogging style. I can no longer upload photos from my two cameras. I am typing this on an iPhone. Expect shorter posts and fewer pictures from now on!