“My Second Wife is Independent” – Bishkek Taxi Driver Talks #4

For the first time Yandex taxi makes me and my friend wait. Finally the driver comes, in a green Volkswagen Polo. He’s a middle aged man with fine features. He asks where we’re from, what we’re doing here and so on.  My friend is from Osh and it turns out he studied law at Osh State University. He has a thick accent in his Russian, almost like a Caucasian accent.

We tell him we’re teaching German.

“Ooh, Germany. Living there must be really easy!”

“Well, you have to work as well. If you don’t have any skills, if you’re unemployed, it’s hard. We also have many poor people,” I explain.

“Really?” He doesn’t seem to believe me.

“You are married?” he asks?

“No, no. Are you married?” my friend asks.

“Yes! I have four children and the fifth is coming. I have two wives.”

In shock, we are silent for a moment.

“Do you live with them all together?” I finally ask.

“No, haha, they live separate. One lives close to here.”

“Did you marry them both?” I ask, although I know bigamy is illegal in Kyrgyzstan.

“One I married by law, the second one with the moldo [muslim cleric].”

“Isn’t that really hard, to have two wives?” I ask.  “Isn’t it really expensive?”

“Oh, no! My second wife is really independent. She has her own job, she has a car.”

I’m going to ask why he needs two wives  and especially why his independent second wife needs him, but we’ve already arrived.