It’s hard to really give a good picture of living Bishkek. Disruptions come up often that we’re not used to dealing with in the US. No utility cannot be counted on. There are an unreasonable number of wrong numbers. The furniture is not sturdy. Work schedules are incredibly flexible or even chaotic. Any food item may disappear from the shelves at any time. Packages and letters might take 6 months to arrive, if they arrive at all. Any store may be closed for no apparent reason. I could go on.
But I don’t want to talk about all these things because mostly of the time life goes reasonably smoothly, especially if you’re flexible. I prefer to stick with the basics. I can always get somewhere by walking and I know more than one bus number to get home from any place I go. I cook with what’s easily available instead of going from western grocery store to western grocery store looking for certain things. If something doesn't work, we live with it. And we don't try to do too much or expect too much.
If you come to Bishkek and want to make your life as much like it was in the US, you’re going to be disappointed or frazzled. But if you come and realize that lots of things are going to be different and that you’re going to have to be creative, you’re going to be fine. This really is a nice city to live in if you take it for what it is.
If you want a different look at life in Bishkek- still positive, but different, try Phil and Lori's Sabbatical Adventure. There are also lots of links to Kyrgyzstan blogs at Registan.