The guys insisted we should stay at each of their families at least for one night. I thought it would be a problem for Ilona but she accepted gladly. Next person to recieve us should be Kairad and after him, Chingiz.
Kairad's home wasn't as luxurious as Adlet's judging by the local criteria. It was quite far from eurostandart. There were no decoration and no big screen TV. But for me, it was the most luxurious of all because it had a room with six computers, internet and wifi.
See, Kairad was the proud owner of an internet café, the only one in the village. It was a very unusual and, judging by the results, very smart business move he had thought about since the age of twelve. Not only was he the only gateway for the kids to play video games, he often was the village only connection to the internet. People were ligning up from sunrise to sunset. First, small kids went there to play counter strike. Then teenagers stayed late into the night.
"I think there were still some kids when I locked up", Kairad had said last night when we went partying, "but they have enough water for the night, I just hope they won't want to pee"
He wasn't kidding. Every now and then, he locked up the wooden door with kids inside who were too addicted to the current video game. They just ran out the next day to their parents. Don't get hung up on the details, everybody gets what they want, everybody's happy.
And for us, it's wifi unlimited in our room.
This coincidence is especially useful when we're stuck in this visa hell with china. China has closed borders from 13.th of August to foreigners. They only allow requests from Kyrgyz citizens or people who have a 1-year visa in Kyrgyzstan.
Ilona is thinking about going to Armenia more and more. Not me though. I have no static point to relate to. My most static point in the neighbourhood is Nata and she is as mobile as a feather in the wind.
My first option is to try to get a useless 1 year Kyrgyz visa just to be able to ask for a chinese one.
My second option is to cross to Kazakhstan again and then to tranzit to mongolia through Russia. Hopefully, they'll give me a chinese visa in Mongolia, it's a more touristically accepted destination than Kyrgyzstan.
My third option is to cross to China illegally. I don't think I want to do it.
Chingiz calls some number in russian to explain our situation. He figures there is still hope.
He is really kind to us. All of the guys are. But Chingiz makes a point of not seeing us bored. He shows us the village, goes to the market with us. Kairad is having a hangover from last night. No kidding.
His wife doesn't speek russian. She speaks English and Phillipino so she's quite isolated here. She can only speak to Kairad. Chingiz speaks some english too but they rarely speak between girls and guys. She always has this beautiful shining smile on her face. Maybe the Philipinos always smile, maybe they smile more when the situation is hard. They have a daughter and I am curious the languages she will speak.
They speak english to her at home but she keeps hearing Kyrgyz and Russian all around. Will she be trilingual from the start?
We have already eaten a huge breakfest before moving our bags to Kairad. But this wouldn't be Kyrgyzstan it we didn't get a breakfest from our new hosts. As I said, Kairad might speak like a Czech and act as a european from time to time, he has Kyrgyz blood and he will give us breakfest no matter what and also a double lunch. Hospitality is an important trait here and everything is so delicious. I wouldn't eat better on a 1000 dollar touristric budget.
Kairad amazes us with his stories from here and the Czech republic. He told us about facing racism in Europe, being labeled Chinese because he has slanty eyes, always having to fight with the Ukrainians who were running the construction business and seeing him as a too exotic liability.
He told us about the mafia, the corruption, lots of stuff. It's almost impossible for a foreigner to find a regular job in europe; our system is so complicated and the byrocracy so endless that the mafia is the only viable solution. I am not surprised at all, I can't even begin to understand how a Kyrgyz national, with only Kyrgyz qualifications, even if he speaks english, could find a regular job in France.
In the morning, children begin to knock on the door and they keep doing so until the evening. Counter-strike doesn't wait and doesn't care about hangovers.
"Stupid kids," curses Kairad, "I could write that we are closed on the door, it wouldn't make any difference. They would have climbed over the fence to get to the computers"
|Kids playing counter-strike, little do they know there is a real version of their virtual gun nearby|
In the afternoon me and Kairad prepare ammunition. We take the old shells, clean them, carefully replace the primary explosive and put the powder inside.
Kairad is a smart person with a lot of ambition. He used the money he made in europe to buy a house and invest in some businesses. Unfortunatelly, he got crossed by his own family. He was about to pull out a gun on them, Kyrgyz style, but changed his mind, he has a kind heart too.
He is fiercly pursuing his american dream, a motivator of many people here: "Salam new york" is a movie you should see.
Kairad is tired from yesterday's party, he wants to sleep early and we both are glad for that decision. Before, however, Chingiz is taking us to the field with his car which is closer to a soviet tank than to a normal truck. It eats about 30 liters for 100 kilometers and it can drive through anything. We driver through the hills on a mountain road. Up there, we meet some of Chingiz' extended family, about fifteen of them. They have produced a few joints and are smoking the Kyrgyz super strong hash that grows everywhere in the region. I feel safe with Chingiz but not with these people. I just take a puff and quickly blow it out from my lungs. The others take enormous puffs. I'd get high like never before had I followed them. And it would be another paranoia crisis. After they finished the joints, instead of falling down, stoned as bricks, they started gathering packs of dried grass for cattle to eat and sell in the city. Around 100 of them, 200 euros in total.
On our way back, we went to see Chigiz grandfather. Many people were there and we got a second or third dinner, I lost count. We will really die of too much food. I'm used to Ilona who can't eat more but I can't either. And each time it's just "let's drink tea". The irony of it is that the food is so deliscious I eat tons of it even if I don't want to. The starter of the car stops working. Shit, how will we get to Kairad? Chingiz start the car with some twisted iron bar. Why not. With children locked up for the night in the internet café, we go to sleep.