Saturday, March 30, 2013

Boobs in Bishkek

Okay, so this post isn’t actually about boobs or Bishkek, but I simply couldn’t resist the alliteration; this is actually a book review. One of the books Young B brought with him to Kyrgyzstan was Revolution Baby, the story of Saffia Farr, the pregnant wife of a British government aid employee who moved to Kyrgyzstan when her husband was transferred here shortly before the 2005 “Tulip Revolution” [wikipedia]. After reading the book’s back cover, I was excited to delve into this book, although both Young B and K warned me that I wouldn’t like it. And for the most part, they were right.

See, Saffia Farr is VERY different from me and my friends, and her life – even when she was living here in Bishkek – is vastly different from my own. I had a tough time relating to her, or even to her version of life in Kyrgyzstan. She essentially spends the bulk of the book complaining about life in Bishkek, bitching about being unable to find a good place to get her legs waxed (!) and constantly reminding us that she has Really Big Boobs (she manages to do this twice in the forward alone). It takes her a good 18 or so months before she decides that she might actually like Kyrgyzstan after all. Maybe.

If you can’t tell from my writing, most of the book annoyed me to no end; I simply couldn’t relate to someone with her own personal driver and who brunches regularly at the Hyatt. However, I did find the final chapters – when the revolution finally happens – to be quite interesting. I remember when the revolution actually happened it received *very little* coverage in the West; I only knew about it because I regularly read blogs pertaining to Russia and the former Soviet Union. I remember wishing it had received more coverage. As such, it was definitely interesting to read her firsthand descriptions of what was going on at that time. But all in all, I wasn’t a big fan. Unless you have a particular interest in the Tulip Revolution, or unless you’re a ‘trailing spouse’ planning on making your way to Bishkek and hobnobbing with the bridge playing, soiree throwing, Hyatt brunching set, I’d give this book a pass.

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