Bishkek is another typically ex-soviet city, it's laid out in a huge grid and has some very soviet concrete buildings. However it does have the Alatau mountain range just to the south of it, so by just looking up anywhere in the city gets you a beautiful view of the mountains.
I stayed in the Radison guesthouse a short walk north of the centre of town, and in the car washing district. Pretty much every other plot on the block was a concrete slab with a little hut, and people rushing around washing cars by hand - and they had no shortage of customers. Either cars get very dirty in Bishkek, or owners are paranoid about dirt. Or a bit of both.
The State Historical Museum is an interesting visit. The exhibits are typical museum fodder, but every inch on the ceiling is covered in paintings of the achievements of Kyrgyzstan. There are satellite down stations with goat herders next to them. There's one of a guy in a cowboy hat and T-shirt of the Stars and Stripes wearing a skull mask, sitting on top of a Pershing missile - surrounding him are mothers with prams waving signs (in English) stating 'I want to live'.
There are no street traders in Bishkek, they all exist in little booths in the pedestrian underpasses. In Bishkek all of the booths seem to sell stationary goods.
Weirdest thing I saw here? The plastic bag that my guide kept her walking boots in - it was from a UK supermarket chain. How did it make it's way out here?