Kyrgyzstan will be my hub and refuge in Asia. India, which is my natural (spiritual and philosophical) home, after I lived there 11 years and have experienced so much (check out the static pages of the website) has decided to change its immigration rules. To make a long story short, it has decided that foreigners can stay if they have an income at least 5 times superior to what Indians need to live comfortably. This means that simple living for us is excluded. Either we have the budget equivalent to living in luxury hotels all year long or we stay out. The visa restrictions are stricter too. Either you earn as much as you would need to survive in the West – which is far too high for Indian standards – or you come as a tourist and can get only 6 months in a year maximum – to the discretion of anonymous authorities. I have so much to contribute and share, yet India is closing its doors to its natural non-Commonwealth sons and daughters.
In fact India is not only a country. It is a state of mind. It is a particular frequency or vibration. Tuning into the spirit of Bharata (India) transforms one’s stay in this country into a permanent miracle of events and encounters, into a feast of joy and wonder. I love this country as much as I hate it. It is as delightful as it is unbearable. Anyway, white collar officials seem to have decided who has the right to live there, regardless of their spiritual belonging. It is as if they were not aware of the unique nature of their own country, cradle of spirituality. Maybe someone decided to modernise the immigration regulations by copying what exists in western countries, without taking into account the different of needs or the difference of cost of life or living standards. Whatever it may be, now I am forced to settle somewhere else, in a country that will not discriminate against me on the basis of my passport. And Kyrgyzstan might be this one. Ex-Soviet State, moderately muslim. (check for Sufism in KG or central asia) and without need of visa.
Kyrgyzstan is the only parliamentary (adolescent) democracy among the Stans and has survived several revolts. Corruption is rampant but India is not bad either at this sport. The climate is something to grapple (?) with with variations between -30 and +40 Celsius. So is the question of language as Russian is The language to know. As a newly developing country, it is also a land of possibilities that are worth exploring. As the second poorest country in the Stans, after Tajikistan, there might also a scope for developing charitable projects – also to be explored. People seem to be kind and open.
Bishkek, the capital of 800 000 souls, lies at 800m altitude. Climate is a little rougher than in continental Europe with temperatures ranging from +40 and – 30 Celsius. It is a mixture of Soviet style buildings and growing western influence. Its numerous cafés can be quite cosy. There is a sense of space that is unknown in Switzerland where everything is crammed and tiny. It has large avenues disposed in perpendicular style. It is incredibly dusty and quite polluted with a thick canopy of smog floating above. The men I have met can be quite sensible, sophisticated and open. Besides that there are those hunks driving big fat Mercedes whose sense of worth seem to be proportional to the pressure of their right foot on the accelerator. Accidents are frequent at cross-roads as respect of traffic rules and consideration for the other seems to be more for anyone else but real men. This country deserves longer exploration, after learning Russian.