Generally I narrate my life story back to myself with me as a protagonist. But if everyone’s doing that, the people we meet on the road may cast me as the idiot, the callous foreigner, the terror. They might even have good reasons to do so (1,400 words). Continue reading
Truly, the Maitian Hostel threw me in front of individuals who were to change the course of the journey I am undertaking. It was at this hostel, a relaxed haven from the armed guards and tanks of Urumqi, China that I met both Gonzalo and Ilona. I joined the former – a hitchhiker famous among his Argentine countrymen and women – the day after we met for six hundred kilometres of thumbing through China’s far northwest. However, my journey with Ilona wasn’t to start so quickly. We agreed to rendezvous in a few weeks time, in a different country and a different region, for a two thousand kilometre bicycle ride.
The approach of Simona and Danielle on a cold morning in Tajikistan was exciting. Ilona and I were heading south and the awesome Italian duo, north. There was no need to pull off onto the shoulder to exchange stories and advice – we were the only ones around. No cars, no people, the wasteland even devoid of livestock – just the four of us trying our luck out on the Pamir plateau.
A riddle: What do a barn piled with hay, a field nearby a police checkpoint and a stretch of riverbank across from Afghanistan all have in common? Continue reading