(38) Khorog, Tajikistan: A week of rest

(Note: I’m posting this 3.5 years after the fact. My notes are variable in quality, so what I give up in narrative quality, I get back in just getting this damn thing posted).

Said goodbye to the guesthouse folk. Found a shared taxi with two young French and an older German man. The drive is underwhelming. Hazier? Used to the scenery? I nodded off a lot, and didn’t take many photos. I can’t believe I have to do this trip one more time to get to Osh.

The minivan drops us travellers at the bottom of the hill that leads up to the guesthouses. The usual Pamir Lodge is cramped, so I decide to stay next door. It’s cleaner, quieter.

A few of us head for the vampire restaurant, but it’s full, so we head into town to try the Indian restaurant. Vegetable Dynabites are on the menu? Is this like pakora? The food is just OK. Trying to get home, is seems the minibuses are done for the night. It’s a long walk home.

I feel a little bit ill when heading to bed, and I end up getting up 3 times in the night with watery diarrhea. I notice bites on my feet in the morning. I stay in bed reading most of the day. Three of us head out for dinner to the usual vampire “haunt” and satisfy my weak intestinal system with mashed potatoes and vegetables. It’s rainy. One of my dinner mates, the old German man, is very interesting. He has worked in university research in applied neurobiology, pharmacology. Very well travelled. Only not to Antarctica, so as not to spoil it. He grew up in West Berlin. And is very anti-minaret and anti-Islam. It makes for tough conversation between the three of us.

Back at the guesthouse, a French duo think they’ve had 900 Euros stolen from them. It turns out they didn’t look hard enough.

I read in the morning, and feel well enough for breakfast. I take a bus up to the botanical gardens. Pick apricots. Still rainy. Bites getting worse.

I still don’t feel like eating any Tajik food. I’ve been sick too often. At this point I just want North American comforts. This sickness makes me want to go home early. I’m tired. I’m not looking forward to the food. I’ve seen enough mountains. I’m a pussy.

I read more. Watch a little TV. Russian news channels of various quality. I worry about finding people to get to Osh with. It’s a rare journey from Murgab.

A pair of mountain climbing women come to the guest house. My first thought is whether they’ve brought more fleas inside. A noisy Chinese group checks-in.

Hang out more. More reading. Some writing. I have stayed one more day than planned. I like to rest.

On my final day I went down to the local market, dead on a Sunday. Got apricots, a razor, pen, veggies.

I come back down for dinner at the nice cafe overlooking the river, figure out transport for Murgab. I eavesdropped on some young development workers. Oh dear, is this development?

The Internet cafe is closed. Back at the guesthouse there is a noise family with 10(?!) children screaming. Seriously?

My bites are so fucking itchy!!!