I met a young man at the airport and, suddenly, everything was going my way. It’s an old story.
After landing in Osh–Kyrgyzstan’s southern, second city–I met a Dagestani truck driver headed to Kashgar, China who offered me a lift. I’d planned to spend a night or two in Osh, saying long, sweet nothing goodbyes to Kyrgyzstan, but a free ride’s a free ride.
So, eight hours in a spic ‘n span Volvo tractor trailer, passing the Sary Tash turnoff I took to Tajikistan almost three months ago already (fork pictured at top–Tajikistan to the right, China to the left, Pamir Mountains straight ahead).
Stamped out of Kyrgyzstan at the Irkeshtam Pass around 3800m, along the beautiful new road getting laid from China to Iraq. And then stuck in a long, tortuously misleading Disneyesque queue of trucks.
Once we realized the border was closed for the night, my driver Muran broke out the chicken, bread, and Fanta. Well, he’d been drinking Fanta all day. He had nine liters of it with him in fact. I thought it better not to ask. You never know about these things.
We curled up into separate bunk beds like the Skipper and Gilligan. Would’ve made for an incredibly peaceful night’s sleep in no man’s land if he hadn’t decided to play hip hop on the radio straight through the night.
But a nice fellow, a beautiful road, and a free ride without having to perform for him. So there you go.