As you may notice from Adam’s posts, I’ve kept cycling. It took a lot of effort to convince myself to get out of the hostel in Osh and start to ride again.
Can’t say that everything suddenly changed and now I am cycling laughing at a sunny day in the shade of trees, cheek to cheek with Adam, and with a basket full of sunflowers on the front of my bicycle, but things are better now. Allergy is gone, I can eat everything again. My knee hurts only on uphill and I feel less tired now. The days between Osh and Sary Tash I found much easier than the whole trip before, even it involved climbing to the 3600+ metres Taldyk pass, the highest point where me or Adam cycled so far. The whole trip is not making itself easier: sun allergy, landslide, sand storm… I’m wondering what will be the next? Terrorist attack? Dragon? Death star?
However, on the way from Osh we stop for a second at the shop to buy water, where a man around 50 years old came to us, and who presented himself as a master of sports in boxing. He said he is a sportsman and was ready to ride with us right away. Sadly he had no bicycle. Also he insisted to take his phone number and assured he will provide us with everything what we need, because he has connections, because as he said, he is a master of sports in boxing.
In Kara Tala village we stayed in the house of local farmers. Their neighbour came to visit them and spent some time talking to us. The old lady told us a lot of her neighbour’s and relative’s lives. The interesting part was she said she regret a lot when her daughter marry an Uzbek guy. It made me smile.
Another day we were riding on the road in a heat and suddenly some man on a bed by the side of the road waved to us and invited us to sit down with him for a little chat. During the talk I found out that this is not even his bed. He came here to drink some horse milk for a treatment purposes. He asked if we are married couple. (By this point I decided to make my life easier and agree with whatever people think about us. Is he your husband? Yes, he is. Are you his translator? Yes, I am. Are you doing some sports and cycling together? Yes, we are.) So, I agreed that Adam is my husband. After that he asked the most popular question number two: How many children do you have? The answer “we don’t” surprised him a lot and he asked bunch of questions about all the details of how our intimate life goes on. Then he told his theory about white man weakness in a reproduction, because they have only one or two children comparing to Kyrgyz people who have at least four of them. And also he said that I’m getting extremely old for bearing a child, so I’d better hurry up with that.
In Sary Tash the hostel we stayed in was run by an old lady whose assistant were her daughter in law. She was 19, has a child. During our talk she said she had just finished her first year in the university in Osh, when she got bride kidnapped. To my question if she likes here, she said sometimes she is bitter about her destiny, but what she can do when she already has a child. I guess this is an answer only of a young lady, who still have a doubting voice of disagreement in themselves. I asked her, why she agreed to marry him? She said: “Well, you know how is it, when the wives of the future husband’s brothers put a scarf on your head and start convincing you…” I suggested her to run away. She laughed and said she has no place to run away. I asked her if her mother in law treating her well? She pointed with eyes to the old lady at the yard and whispered: “She can hear us”.
In Nura, where from the last lady was, we came at the evening under a heavy rain. A local family saw us and invited us to stay at their place for a night. After common talks we were left by adults and stayed in one of the rooms of the smaller building with bunch of kids. Suddenly the door opened and a young guy immediately asked me, how old I am and then he asked how old Adam is, then he asked did I really married this? Guess to whom he pointed. Then he with no other words close the door and went away. Kids started to gossip among each other. One of them said he is living nearby, he was born in 1992 and he is married. Another kid said, he is divorced now. To this a boy pushed a girl in the head with a finger and said: “You live in Bishkek, you know nothing”.
The next day we made it to China. Chinese are nice, but it is obvious their current system’s influencing them. They want to do something nice, but are a bit scared and seems like everything they do, they do with a glance behind their shoulder. Chinese system is really annoying me. We can’t get sim card because we are not Chinese. Yesterday we got kicked out from a nice hotel by police, because we are not Chinese. Since Osh there are a lot of Uyghurs, who are rude and we have to eat their awful Uyghur lagman all the time. When we are finding some place which is not Uyghur cafe, we are ordering food by pointing to some random characters in a menu, which, of course, turned out to be something not tasty. So far we ate rice only twice. It was a true success. Missing hamburgers.
As you may suspect, in this trip I got new skills like clearing my nose on the side of the road. I’m not that pro-skilled like Adam, who can do it without getting off from his bike, but day by day I’m getting closer to it. As we have to run this wild life, I decided to bring some touch of aristocracy and in Kashgar I bought long sleeved white gloves. I wear them with a very fancy light scarf, covering my face with a cute air stewardesses’ bow on my neck. Also I was giving my special royal wave to all truck drivers, whom we met on the road. Most of them didn’t appreciate it. I tried to talk old fashioned English with decent accent, but after 10 minutes I catch myself talking in my old own style. Anyway I think now clearing my nose by the side of the road in a long sleeved gloves makes it more elegant, you can’t disagree with that.
As we are in China now, and I don’t speak Chinese, it makes conversation with people difficult and not meaningfully deep. So this will be probably the last post from me.
Also China blocked Google and I can’t check my gmail. Keep writing me emails, I’ll reply as soon as I get out from this country of communists. For emergency reasons use telepathy and universe’s connection.