Chingiz is smart and able but he has trouble understanding how the mind of an european investor works. He thinks that, as the Kyrgyz, they are waiting to hear about great potential profits, while european investors usually want to hear about low risk. And they want solid proof. They don't give money just for ideas.
Chingiz and his father have started another business, they are making apple juice and selling it to restaurants in Bishkek. It is hard work but it is a smart idea. I stay at Chingiz place one more night, he is going to a party. But this time, it is not the usual gettogether with friends and vodka in a car. This time, there are girls involved and I see the other side of the great Kyrgyz family legend.
Here, Kyrgyz guys marry early and women even earlier. A lot of them are even virgin before the wedding night with practically no sexual experience and in probably shows on their performance in bed. So basically Kyrgyz people have children before they have even begun to explore their sexual lives, at 22 they already have a family and live with their wife and kids and parents (!) forever.
"That's why they are all cheating on their wives," I told Ilona who didn't want to believe my cynical view on relationship.
Turns out I was right, cheating on their wives has become a tradition as common as drinking tea. I am not judging any of these people nor am I even saying that cheating is wrong, I am merely stating the facts.
I can't blame the Kyrgyz women for believing their husband will have eyes for no other than them. They stay virgin until marriage, they expect a prize, a miracle but miracles don't happen. However I must say that in the case of Chingiz and friends, the guys really do respect their wives and love them. But given the circumstances of their acquaintance, I would say there is no other alternative.
Chingiz says if you want a girl in Kyrgyzstan, you need money. That sounds a lot like prostitution but he doesn't meen that.
"Girls don't pay for things, the man does. 200 soms for beer, 100 for chips and 200 for the room."
That's how it works and he explains that to me without any shame. It might sound harsh for european minds but isn't it how it also work in europe. Except that in europe it is way more expensive and in Kyrgyzstan the girl is expected to deliver. The guy knows it, the girl knows it and in this country, people expect to get their money's worth especially if they don't have a lot of money.
I realize now how unpolite from me it was to do half-half with Janela when we went to the restaurant together. This is just unthinkable in Kirghizia.
Me and Chingiz go to a park. It is freezing cold already. Two girls are waiting for us. They are Kyrgyz of russian origin and it is crystal clear for everyone what is the goal of the night. They are already a bit drunk when they greet us. I am amazed how the religious extremism of Kyrgyzstan contrasts with a sexual liberalism ten years ahead of western europe.
One of the girls already knows Chingiz, she is kind of his casual mistress. The other girl is her friend and she is obviously there for me. Everyone knows Janela is my girlfriend, in their minds we are even going to marry but they see no contradiction. A man should be loyal to his wife but a man has needs and everybody understands that... except the wife.
As for me, I feel very weird about all this. In my mind, I am sure I will not cheat on Janela even though we have not decided on any rules. Weirdly enough, I am not interested in any other girl right now. BUt I am very interested on that process. Seduction is such a complicated art in europe, I am very interested in seeing it simplified.
I expected the girls too be very intteresting, some kind of rare characters because I have neer seen such sexual openness before, all countires combined. Instead, I realize the blond girl is blank. She has no clue about anything in life. She is not curious she wants to go to Paris and that's basically it. Or maybe I don't put too much effort into my communication with her because deep down, I don't really ccare about sleeping with her. She is pretty alllright, she could be a fashion model judgiéng by european criteria but she is just so empty. I can''t find anything interesting about her, no feeling, either emotional nor physical.
After a while, I realize she is a bit lost, a bit like me, we both kind of wonder what we are dooing here. I think she is curious about what I will do and I am curious about what she will do so we are kind of in a funny stalemate.
The other couple however is making progress. Chingiz is now holding his mistress by the belly, maybe they even kissed once or twice. Obviously they are not starting from zero. Noticing the lack of progress from my side, Chingiz takes me apart and asks:
"So... you don't think she's pretty?"
I do think she is pretty but I try to explain to him that in europe, except a few rare cases, we don't have sex after five minutes of talking to each other. Chingiz is surprised by these strange customs. When I explain to him that european boys pay several restaurants in a row merely for the hope of a first kiss he just shakes his head. "This is such a bad investment, no wonder your economy is falling apart"
"But you are in Kyrgyzstan now," he says, "you should play by Kyrgyz rules. You go to the girl, you buy her chips and beer, you tell her that you like her and then you tell her I want you, she says yes or no and that's it."
"Come on, does that bullshit ever work?"
"Hey, trust me man, I was a taxi driver in Bishkek for half a year and I had 4 girls a week." Strange country.
Turns out that to score a girl in Kyrgyzstan you need to have not only chips and beer but also a car. That's logical for everyone who has a culture in american movies: chips+beer+girl+car=sex. And so far, with its corrupt cops, liberated girls, weed, guns, gangs and alcohol, Kyrgyzstan has been nothing like america but everything like an american movie.
The problem with the sex equation is that Chingiz doesn't have a car. His parents took the car and he has no idea whe they will resturn. I suggest that we could still buy the girls some more chips because they looked hungry but Chingiz throws me a surprised look: "what for?"
Yeah, everything is calculated and has a purpose. Nobody buys a puzzle with a missing piece.
Chingiz goes on to call Adlet. Adlet is the fourth richest man in town and he has a car. He comes with his car fulll of guys, about four of them. They buy vodka and get a bit drank and then we go to see the girls. They are waiting in a freezing cold, it must be -10. They seem scared, they expected me and Chingiz, that was the deal and now they are surrounded by six drunk guys that they have never seen before. Any european girl would not only run away but call the police right away, probably rightfully so in most cases.
Chingiz obviously puts his buddies first. He talks with them, drinks with them, he doesn't have a single word for the girls. Chingiz brother calls, says parents have returned, he can have the car. Chingiz leaves the scared girls with all strangers and goes to take the car. Then he puts the girls in his parents car to wait for him to finish having fun with his buddies.
I go sit with the girls, that's also a way not to drink.
"I want to go home," whispers the other girl, not Chingiz' mistress
This is enough, the game is over and I am not curious anymore. This is the kind of situation me and Ilona were in a lot of times and now I am on the other side of the situation. I can't understand Chingiz. He wants something from these girls, why isn't he doing anything to get it? If you want to sleep with a girl, you should treat her with respect otherwise she will not be in the mood. That's basic science.
The thing is that there is only one girl that Chingiz respects: his wife. He loves her, he cherishes her and she is his only girl on the planet. That is why him sleeping with other women will never impact his relatiionship, unless he is discovered of course.
The girls also, are shy beyond measure. Any girl I know would at least ask when this drinking fest will be finished so Chingiz would have time for them. But they don't ask anything, maybe because of the position a woman has in Kyrgyzstan and probably also because they are scared.
"Chingiz is not a bad guy," I tell the other girl, "he will not do anything that you don't want and nobody will force you to do anything," I say to her
"Thank you." There is gratitude in her voice, this girl obviously isn't used to be treated with respect.
"Do you want to go home?"
"Then you have to repeat it many times, Chingiz will take you"
She nods her head. She is scared, she is cold and she is tired. She didn't take any warm clothes.
Adlet rides away but his buddies stay, we are now all in Chingiz" car.
Chingiz' mother calls, she needs a ride somewhere. Parents have priority before everything except god, Chingiz leaves us all out into the freezing cold and goes to follow his mother's will. The other girl is freezing, she tries to keep warm and nobody helps her. Maybe because everybody is also doing his best not to freeze or maybe because she has lost respect of others because she is not a virgin. Strange country.
I lend her my coat and she thanks me beyond measure. I then go talk to Chingiz and he agrees to take her home. He doesn't really understand why the girl wans to go home but he respects her will.
His buddies go home also leaving us only three in the car: me, Chingiz and his mistress. The only way his mistress didn't run away is that she is desperatly in love with him. This is how usually relationships are: unbalanced.