Aleksey and the Tian Shan mountains

Aleksey at the bar of the Vintage wine bar. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

I met Aleksey in a wine bar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. I was walking along a long avenue of the city, while my head was disserting on some issues. I was in the mood for a coffee, even though it hadn't been too long since I'd had one. I walked past the Vintage wine bar and although it's not the ideal place to just have a coffee, I decided to try my luck.

There was a Russian guy at the bar who served me very kindly. He told me that he could make an espresso for me. I assumed it would be a capsule coffee, but the place was nice and friendly, so it seemed perfect.

I stood at the bar and entertained myself by looking at the wine list while I waited for my coffee. Immediately Aleksey, with a smile, poured me the coffee and we started a conversation. His job, however, was not to serve coffee. Aleksey is a professional cavist, an expert in wine selection. We both have stories to tell about the experience of living in the capital of Kyrgyzstan. To liven up the conversation I ended up ordering a glass of wine, suggested by Aleksey, and some Pecorino Romano to go with it.

Aleksey and the photo of the Tian Shan mountains at the Vintage wine bar. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Aleksey in front of the Vintage wine bar


I showed him some photographs I had taken in Kyrgyzstan. The image of the Tian Shan mountains where Sake, a nomad from the area, appears on horseback, particularly appealed to him. I took this photo during a polar expedition to Son Kul lake in February 2022.

Tian Shan Mountains, Kyrgyzstan
Tian Shan Mountains, Kyrgyzstan


A new friendship was born that day. Before leaving Bishkek, I gave him a canvas print of the photograph he had liked.

Keep strong and see you next time, my friend.


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