I spoke with Bema, a 31 year old Kyrgyz woman who formerly worked as a tour guide and opened her own pizzeria in a village 200km outside of Bishkek. Bema speaks many languages, she is not religious but believes in angels, and would prefer to die in a car crash than of old age. Read more of Bema below…

What do you do for work?

Right now, nothing.

I was working as a guide, so in tourism. And as everyone know, there is nothing now.

I’ve tried also to open a pizzeria, where I worked in the last 6 months, which was in a village 200km from Bishkek. I came back just 10 days ago.

I’m looking for a job, but I don’t know what kind of job I’m going to find.

What do you do for play?

I really like to go to the nature.

I have my tent, I have my sleeping bag. I really like to go to the mountains.

I am trying to visit all of the places in Kyrgyzstan. We have a lot of lakes and many peaks and mountains and national parks. I like to just go out there.

And during the winter time I like to ski.

What are your life goals?

My goal is to be a useful person, to bring something to this world.

Everybody will say, “Ah, that was Bema’s idea!” Maybe not for the world, but at least for my country.

Advice you would give your younger self?

Ummm… Don’t choose the university major you have chosen!

I did English, and I don’t think you need university for this.

Maybe I could have chosen another major, and just learn English in other places. I can speak a few languages, but I know nothing about economics, computers, engineering, things like that.

I think, maybe, “Don’t be afraid.” Nothing is as difficult as you think – just go, don’t be afraid!

What languages do you speak?

I speak Russian and Kyrgyz, of course, and I speak English, I speak French, I speak Italian, and I can understand Turkish and other languages.

And I am trying to learn Spanish now. It’s easy!

Something you are proud of?

Last year I went on a trip to South East Asia, that is something I am proud of.

I have been to 10 countries by myself. I started in India. I am really proud of myself, because I was alone, and I was afraid, but I lost my fear. Now I would do it again and again.

Something you are ashamed of?

I don’t know.

My character is not very social. I am not a social person. If I go somewhere with many people, I feel uncomfortable. Maybe this is bad, but that’s me. I can sit in one corner for the whole day and be happy there. That is something I want to change but I can’t.

What is love?

Nobody has asked me before, “What is love?” Maybe I can write it? I have to think…

Love is an emotion that accompanies the life of every person.” (Google)

The emotion that helps us to be motivated, to create, to move forward when it needs.

The emotion that makes us feel happiness, the emotion everybody wants to receive and share.

Love gives a meaning to life. We wait for love and we look for love.

Somebody you look up to?

Elon Musk!

What does humanity need to be more aware of?

Maybe they have to be afraid that one day they won’t know who they are.

Nowadays we have a lot of social media, where people are trying to pretend, showing their life as better than it is, then they start to believe what they are saying. Then they don’t know what they really feel. I see a lot of this in Kyrgyzstan.

Something you miss from your childhood?

I really notice now you don’t see many children playing outside.

We were going outside in the morning playing everything; football, riding our bikes.

In the winter time we were making slides, doing it ourselves, bringing water and making it freeze. Everybody goes back home in the evening and we were wet, we have a lot of holes in our trousers – I mean, I miss it!

This generation, they don’t do it. Sometimes they don’t know how to do it. They don’t know how to survive doing these kinds of things.

When I was small I was going around the city on my bike, now they have the taxi, they don’t go far from their houses, they aren’t adventurous like we are. They sit at home and watch TV and YouTube.

I would like to see children play like we were playing.

Something you don’t miss from your childhood?

I changed three schools. This is not really a good experience. When you come to a new school it’s always stressful. New children, no friends.

Is there life after death?

I have read a book, I really want to believe in the idea in that book, Empire of the Angels.

It was saying that when we die, there is no hell, and paradise is if you become an angel, hell is when you come back again to earth. Every time you live you get some points, and if you get enough points you become an angel. I believe in this thing.

I don’t believe in Islam that says if you die you can go to hell. I mean, hell is just to come back to earth.

We are in the hell now!

I believe in these things.

And I believe in angels.

And I believe that our soul moves from one body to another, like reincarnation. I’m not Buddhist. I don’t believe in any religion. But I believe in God.

I think all the religions that exist in this world were created by the people in it.

But there is a God, of course, and I believe that there’s a God, but I don’t want to follow any religions. Maybe after many years I will choose one of the religions, but not now.

How do you want to die?

Fast! Hahaha!

I don’t know if I want to die when I am 90, because I know it’s a really long thing, you just wait for death, and you just sit there…

Maybe, car crash? That would be nice. And just die immediately.

I don’t want to die underwater, in a fire, or in a plane crash. I think maybe a car crash would be better.

What is your life philosophy?

Do everything you feel, but it’s important that it doesn’t hurt anyone. Nobody should die!

What do you think about Guernsey?

Guernsey? What is it?

I don’t know anything!

I mean, I think it’s a nice place… it’s always rainy… sure…

One thought on “Bema

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