Bishkek has a small-town feel to it, a bit like Boise did. Even though both are capitals and by far the biggest cities in their respective country or state, you're still quite likely to run into people you know on the street. Everyone seems to know everyone here. Even I see people I know whenever I go out, and I've only been here 6 months.
And a couple of interesting posts/blogs about Central Asia:
Appearances Can Be Deceiving
I asked around some more about the colorful cushion/quilts I wrote about earlier, and the consensus has definitely been that tushuk is the word that is used, at least in Bishkek.