The Professor, the Shaman, and Me

The Professor, the Shaman, and Me

Kyzyl, Tuva   “You are a cow!” Kenin-Lobsam concluded emphatically. “I am also a cow. Based upon the astrological conditions surrounding our births, I can work with you. What can I do for you?” I had heard that Kenin-Lobsam is the leading...
30,000 Cultural Monuments

30,000 Cultural Monuments

Abakan, Khakassian Autonomous Republic, Russia “If the numbers on your bus ticket add up to six and six you must eat it.” “Why?” “Because if the numbers add up to the same figure it’s good luck.” “And if I have this good...
$850 for a Ford

$850 for a Ford

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan There are no buses from Osh to Bishkek. The 500 kilometer road traverses the Kygyz Altau and Talas Altau mountain ranges over three high passes, winding its way up and down through just two small towns and a handful of villages. There isn’t...
My Fear of the Kyrgyz Police

My Fear of the Kyrgyz Police

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan In southern Kyrgyzstan I quickly learned to fear the police and my heart would skip a beat each time we spotted one of the many roadside police checkpoints. Through Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the infamous former Soviet police forces have caused...