Going nowhereSaturday, August 22, 2009 5:57
Really not much to report. Me and Dorothy are just kicking back in Kyrgyztan waiting for my Russian visa to come through and for her parcel to arrive so I can get her running right. Hopefully not many more days because we’re getting bored.
Bishkek, the capital, is okay though. Full of pretty girls and kebabs that come with rice and bread for a couple of quid. Who grumble at either? It’s also less Soviet than I imagined, and no where I have seen a horse and cart. Instead the locals whizz around in German cars with badges from Mercedes and Audi. They drive like the Indians, the only difference here being they have more power and smoother roads. It’s probalby why so many cars on wrecks by the road.
The guesthouse where I’m staying is ok. It’s behind a big grey gate that gives no clue of the 20 or so souls sleeping in one big house behind it. People from Germany, France, Switzerland and last night even Irish. There’s jsut one toilet for all of us and a litter of kittens that snoop around and steel your food. There’s also a drunken brother of the owner who wants you to buy him Vodka in the morning so he can get drunk while boring you about all the great ideas he’s had but never made. He lives in the house’s shed with a wife who cries Vodka tears. I’ve never seen her sober and I’ve been there for nine days.
My bed is in a dorm but I have my own little space. I’ve unpacked, made a mess, amongst my room mates both girls and boys. Around a big kitche table we sit and eat breakfast. A big flat round of bread from the shop next door operated by a woman I quite fancy. Nazgul’s her name and she thinks I’m stupid because I go in grinning every day to buy the bread and a coffee satchet for twenty pence.
The rest of the day I just loaf, hang out with a couple of great German bikers also here waiting for repairs. We’re having a great old time; eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t worry mum, they’re keeping me fed and watered.
The beard’s coming on strong. It’s now fuller, thicker. My hair too, though not at the top where I think it’s going thin. That’s why I wear a cap all the time, one that somehow has survived all the way from Malaysia. Ususally I lose them in a week and have to buy another one. This one though I’m attached too and would be mortified if it went astray. That’s why I think I look after it so well unlike the rest of the stuff I’ve lost and carried.
I bought a camping stove yesterday with threee gas bottles so I can stop and cook tea and noodles from now on. I just thought it better than buying biscuits and Coke before I pitch my tent and eating them for my dinner. Now I’ll be able to cook all sorts of things as I camp by the KAzakhstan road. Noodles, beans and soup. I’ll live on that until Dorothy brings me home. Then I shall be slim and less than 70kgs, a weight I’m hovering around now.
No doubt mum will fatten me up as I sit and write my book in a shed I’m hoping me and my dad can build. A writer’s shed, with a kettle and hot water bottle for when the weather turns cold. It’ll be winter when I get back you see. October. It has to be. Any later and I’ll freeze in the Alps in a sleeping bag that says North Face but I don’t thyink really is. It’s big and bulky and not all that warm. But I bought it in India, I should have known it could only go wrong.
Now then Germans on the computers next door have left. It’s just me. Typing this litle waffle before I too log off and saunter back to the guesthouse with the big grey door and drunken brother. No doubt new people will have arrived with the same old questions; ‘where’ve you been, how long, how far’. Everyone asks each other and then immediately forgets. We talk, but we never listen. It’s the travellers’s way.
We’re in our own world, doing our own thing, turning our own cogs. Conversation is sometimes a distraction you don’t always need when you riding that cognitive road and plotting the places you’ll visit next. Even now I’m riding Dorothy. Taking a turn, racing for a horizon, fixing a puncture I always get.
But I’m not complaining, for when I get home, all this will STOP.