(40) Osh, Kyrgyzstan: Ashes to ashes

My first night in Osh after my long drive from Murgab was a little tense. While the height of the ethnic violence had subsided, there was still an uneasy air about Osh. I was so hungry but didn’t want to venture out in the dark. Thankful to have one final protein bar in my pack for times like this. I was vaguely reassured by kids playing outside.

By day, Osh was a lot less scary. Lots of pockets of burnt out buildings, business, and homes. Many doors had signs or paint indicating the business and homes were “KbIPXb3” or Kyrgyz – i.e. Uzbek people were the target. However, the market was hopping, people were out. Business as usual as could be.

Explored town with a fellow traveller from the guesthouse (Scottish?, Swedish?). Walked up a big hill – Dom Babura – which involved something religious (shrine? cemetery?) but in reality is best for the views of Osh from above. From this vantage point one could really see areas of targeted violence. Discreet blocks that were burnt down.

While in Osh I enjoyed some pastries, some ice cream, some stuffed baked dough pockets (could do without the chunks of fat, thank you) and decided to fly to Bishkek the next day. The idea of more long rides did not appeal at this point. There was a guard with a gun outside the travel agency I went through.

And that’s all I can remember from Osh.