I’m reluctant to bazaars, first because I find shopping in general stressful and secondly, because being in crowds drives me to the brink of insanity. In Kyrgyzstan, thirdly, police has found an additional source of income, by searching tourists, more precisely, their purses. But where, if not at a marketplace, you can experience a country’s people so incredibly close and honest. So I suck it up and set forth to visit the Osh Bazaar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan‘s second largest bazaar (Dordoi is the largest).



Moshna?” – “May I?” I ask the vendors and hold up my camera. The reactions are different, some shake their heads and wave off,  some nod in a friendly manner. In that case, I‘ll try as quickly as possible to take a good photo, as not to disturb the people for too long. Usually that doesn’t quite work out because I‘m fiddling at the exposure, the focus or try to find the right perspective. When I afterwards show the people the photo on the SLR’s display, they smile gratefully. Some ask if they can have a print-out. Then the word “difficult” is written on my face, not because of the print-outs which can be ordered in small shops in street underbridges. No, the image handover would fail because for never in my life, I would again find this particular stall in the bazaar maze.
I enjoy it, when the people call me and symbolize that they want me to photograph them. A saleswoman is so proud of her grapes that she wants them to be in the photo. The men with the typical Kyrgyz felt hats say something like, “Take a picture of us so you can dream of us tonight.” Often enough, the vendors want to tease their colleagues, friends, wives or husbands. A saleswoman, for example, points out two men sitting lazy in the corner, while their wives sell the goods. This is what you should take a picture of!” she says and laughs.
In summary, the visit to the Osh bazaar was exhausting, I always had to forgo the policemen and more than once I got myself a rebuff. But when I look at the pictures, I‘m really glad that I went.