I fall onto my mattress and sleep. Let the world have it's way. And the world does. A storm hits us hard. Curtains close.
The next day, I wake up. We have to move camp. Water is almost leaking into our camp and there is a lot of disgusting garbage. I barely manage to move myself and my stuff. We camp next to a river of potable water. Some kids steal our medecine. If I really got the bubonic pleague now, there is no way to cure me. Our antibiotics are gone.
The kids come back, they give our medicine back. They let us ride a donkey. They ask a lot of question, show us their sheep and whatever. I feel a little better and then I feel even worse. We make tea and I throw up everything.
Then it really gets better. At last. We decide to hitchhike towards Karakol to build that base.
"I know a guy in Kyrgyzstan who speaks Czech", says our driver
He gives us the phone. His name is Kairad and he has been living in Czech Republic for five years. Now he has gone back to Kyrgyzstan with his wife from the phillipines. He met her in a club in Prague.
"It's Edil's birthday", says our driver when he drops us to the lake.
|This happy party stole our medicine!|
Edil is the kind of guy you would expect to chop heads witgh an axe. He has a kind heart and is turning 24.
"Czeeech repuublic!!!", he welcomes us, "Milan Barosh!! Come drink with us!"
I have been feeling well for about ten minutes overall and there comes another vodka. The food is deliscious. I forget the warnings not to eat Shashlik because our region is under quarantine. The important thing is I don't throw up when I eat.
"You need two glasses of vodka if you want to swim in the lake"
|Go and swim in the lake!|
"We don't want to swim in the lake. It's fucking freezing!"
We didn't swim in the lake but we drunk another glass. And a third one because Edil was 23. A fourth because he turned 24. Then Ilona drunk a fifth.
"Wanna try some haaashish?", says a guy with a military coat, "try it and you'll be ouaaaaaaaaah"
|Kairad, Adlet, Edil and me|
I was already drunk enough not to mix anything with marocan hash. I would die if the hash was iranian and I can't even imagine what Kyrgyz super strong marihuana would do to me. Plus, I didn't trust the guy, he just appeared at me from the dark. I didn't know yet that we have just met the sweetest and trustworthy person in a long time.
We talk to Kairad in Czech most of the time. His Czech is really good. He is smart and looks like a cute little character from some japanese Anime movie or so Ilona says.
He tells us about his stories in Czech Republic. He spent most of his time working like crazy on construction sites and the rest of his time fighting in bars. He didn't look like it but I had no trouble believing him when he described how he and his friend Vashek broke noses and teeth of guys bigger then them. He was skilled in kickboxing and while he has been out of practice for some time, he was nothing but muscle.
"And if they become too agressive," he says, "I gun them down"
Kairad has a gun, as many Kyrgyz do. But not just any gun. His rifle is an antique piece from the fifties for which he makes home-made ammunition.
But since he couldn't carry it all the way to Czech republic, number of his opponents suffered broken teeth instead of broken skulls.
He seemed so close to us, so close to home, I could have called him brother but time has taught me to judge carefully. Kairad might be sweet and nice, he is still a Kyrgyz with all the cultural differences and I should be careful not to overstep.
The next guy looked a little sophisticated, he was observing us from afar, it's like he was measuring who we are. His name is Adlet and he is one of the four friends. They know each other from childhood years: Adlet, Kairad, Chingiz and Edil. Adlet is "the rich guy" because he owns hudge parcels of land and countless sheep. He is working hard on his domain with very little help and until now, it has been a success.
He is humble, smart, and respectful. You can see he's struggeling with the difference of him being rich. He wants to be a simple person, with both feet on the ground, he wants to be with his friends but his wealth is driting him away a little. Here in Kyrgyzstan, showing wealth is important. It appears everywhere: on your car, in your house, on how you dress. Adlet's car is an exception, a display of humility. The holy grail the boys want to achieve is too have a home which is "eurostandart". It basically is a home that looks like what they think an european home looks like: a big house with a lot of overly expensive decorations. And Adlet's house is almost eurostandart. Exept that it's really decorated with taste.
"I'll take you home," he says after a while. I would prefer going to Kairad because of the language but mostly, I am curious, I want to get see another Kyrgyz home, a Kyrgyz family and this Adlet seems like a cool guy.
"Poydom, chay popyom." And we end up eating a delicious giant dinner. Adlet's wife is an energic, smart and action-packed. She would like to travel or do something but taking care of children and Adlet's family just takes too much time. I think it's the case of many women here. Incredible potentials targeted only at making families. Weird.
The women stay at home, says Adlet and we go to the hot springs. It's healing water they say but since georgia pretty much everything is healing water, healing air, healing food, healing horse milk.
These hot springs are special because they let out a lot of Radon. Radon is radioactive if you wouldn't know. You cannot stay more than 15 minutes without starting to feel dizzy, they say. We drink a lot of vodka while they fill the giant stone pools with hot spring water. It is kind of a touristic center mostly used by the locals. There are several pools that take at least one hour to fill. The access is paid but the guys pay for me as I am their guest.
It's a radon hot spring bath under the shining stars.
"This is effing romantic," I say to the guys, "I just wish you were beautiful Kyrgyz girls instead". I think they agree.
The water is so relaxing. These healing things don't work on me usually but this time there is definitly someting. Maybe I'm just getting radon poisoning.
Kairad's head is starting to spin. "This is cool but I think I am loosing all my energy. Fuck, I can't even have sex after this bath!"
He's right, the water makes you kind of just want to lie and sleep. We drink more vodka and beer. The guy in the military coat talks about weed which I still can't try at this point. He's not as dangerous as I thouhgt. He is smart and comprehensive. I like him.
We talk about stuff, about trust, about girls. The guys seem to find it unacceptable that I didn't date or at least sleep with a Kyrgyz girl yet. I can't agree more but I just hope the number they just gave me isn't a prostitute. Anyway everybody's drunk and doesn't know half of what they're talking about.
"Us guys, we're professional. We can seduce any girl. Especially Kairad. But not Edil, Edil, he doesn't have a clue what he's doing, we make all fun of him", explains the guy in the military coat. But now, their seducing days are over. They've all got beautiful wives and are not risking to destroy their families by doing anything stupid. Vodka or not vodka, these guys are solid in their words and acts.
We drink again and we go home. Edil is driving 160km/h in the dark, drunk, on a badly looking road. "Slow down man, I still care about my life," says the guy in the military coat. Edil slows down. We stop near the village, Kairad pulls out a rifle. It's an old rifle from the fifties, nothing you would easily find in europe.
Edil shoots in the air while the others back away a little for fear of the home-made ammunition to explode.
"I made seven rouds today," says Kairad, "I think they'll allright"
|Just hold your head up and pull the trigger!|
We planned to eat that watermellon but it would serve better for target practice. I am glad, I am sick of always eating watermellons from the beginning of Kazakhstan.
Kairad shoots, I shoot, we miss. I was too afraid to aim anyway but the gun doesn't have so much of a kick. The rounds seem powerful though. The guy in the military coat blows the watermellon to pieces.
"This is how you shoot!", he says with a victorious smile. That guy is allright. And his name is Chingiz.