Relocation is a new form of activity that relies on previously non-existent technological possibilities that arise when working through the Internet. The value of being a relocator is that “you don’t have to reinvent the wheel”: human nature itself has determined that there is a whole set of patterns that have already been tested by generations of people who have changed jobs and/or places of residence. Let’s list the key ones adapted specifically for the realities of Kyrgyzstan.
1. Don’t try to reproduce the world of the city – Moscow, St. Petersburg or Kazan, in which the most impressive moments of success accompanied you before. Such a model of behavior will inevitably lead to a waste of resources, show your naivety to thinking people around you, and ultimately reward you with a set of psychopathologies.
Choose among the local social groups those whose lifestyle suits you best and delve into how skillfully they organize the world around them. Apply the most rational approaches from everything you see, discarding what is imposed by traditional or marketing stereotypes. For example, a prosperous family may overspend on air conditioners, living in an apartment on the top floor or with a huge southern facade, when it would be more logical to rent a cottage in a shady or mountainous place near the water during the hot months. And on top of the adopted “way of life,” develop your own approaches, which may include nostalgic moments – souvenirs from your city, decor elements.
2. Get rid of illusions about returning “as is” and, on the contrary, “dive headfirst into the new world.” I assure you, the political tricksters who run the place you left, no matter what they say, have no doubt that the most reasonable part of the emigrants will not return. Therefore, the maximum ambition they can realize regarding the naive returnees is some form of hostage-taking. Even if Russia ever changes, it will be a completely different country, and you or your children who decide to return will be completely different. And the more you can grow above yourself in such a situation during your absence, the greater your chances of success. Therefore, even the scenario of returning will look better the more fully you can realize yourself in the new place.
3. Do not imagine yourselves as representatives of “high culture”. In Russia, huge rural areas live as complete savages, and education and unique forms of sophisticated landscaping appeared in Central Asia in those epochs when the inhabitants of even large cities in Eastern Europe did not think about anything other than providing food for their families for the upcoming winter.
Take a Kyrgyz phrasebook in the form that you find most convenient – electronic or paper, text or video – that you feel the most affinity for. Learn the key phrases and functional names. In conversation with locals, use these phrases before using Russian ones. Everyone here will understand both, but your interest in expressing respect for the local culture, demonstrating that you are not an arrogant person, and declaring your seriousness of intention will be apparent.
4. Don’t try to “act like a local” or flatter them. Kyrgyzstan is a clearly Asian country, and you will stand out as a foreigner on the street. Trying to ingratiate yourself by flattery will only make you look like a clown. Asian society is essentially based on a familial and clan structure. The Kyrgyz themselves strike a balance with this through sociability and openness, as well as their ability and willingness to learn from “obvious outsiders” (which, interestingly, is similar to American culture). The maximum ambition for integration, primarily for business activity on the ground, which is of interest to you, is, to speak in medieval language, “the establishment of your clan, but without land” – that is, a kind of craft or industrial guild. Succeeding with such goals will automatically make you a valuable member of society, which will allow you to achieve the most attractive social status.
5. Talk less, do more. Combine decisiveness with respect for those around you. The open land of Central Asia, even in the days of ancient rulers, witnessed crowds of people trying to get a simple instant benefit and then leave, using a characteristic distance drop of “you’re a brother, we’re all brothers, so we help each other now”. Warmth of relations is all the more valuable, the more real benefit is demonstrated before it – not necessarily before a particular person, but before the environment, before the community.
6. Clearly prioritize your tasks. Always evaluate the tactical and strategic benefits of what you are doing at the moment, comparing them with the possible benefits of redirecting your efforts. Live in the present moment, not missing the opportunities that arise here and now. Don’t spend even a minute thinking about the past or the future. Your brain is designed to give the “other times” due attention even during rest and sleep.
7. Even if you have difficult circumstances and have to save money, don’t forget to indulge yourself during your leisure time – with food, entertainment. Otherwise, you will have to spend more on restoring your health later. The communities of Bishkek offer an excellent set of urban entertainment, and the regions offer natural entertainment. Among them are completely unfamiliar forms to you, such as hot winter mineral baths. Almaty and Tashkent are not far away from here as well.
8. Be mindful of the rules when interacting with the local nature. The comfortable season for walks and swimming here is much longer than what you are used to, but don’t forget that the fauna of Central Asia has diverse capabilities. You need to inspect your section of the beach before plopping down on the sand out of habit: there are not just poisonous spiders, they also jump. Snakes are also genuinely poisonous, so you can’t walk in shorts in the forest, especially in the canyons, which are very pleasant in the summer.
9. You can consider it lucky if you rent an apartment where you were born or if your relatives send you money. But you can also not consider it lucky: parasitic forms of life have a rapidly degrading nervous system. Whenever possible, try to live off the income from your own useful activities, and use additional income to become a more generous person: travel, risky investments, help those in need.