I am sitting in Bishkek airport once again, in fact, for the third time this week, sipping on white wine and waiting with much anticipation for a steak to arrive. It’s two in the morning, and I thought….why ever not?
It’ strange to be saying adios to Bishkek, although it has mugged me, rid me of my husband, and made me broke, I feel rather fond of it, and shall miss it. Of course, I shall miss little Grettle a great deal more, who will be hibernating here for the winter. I went to visit her yesterday and it seems she is being well looked after and in good hands.
I had a fabulous past week and thoroughly enjoyed my time in the UK. I was greeted by Olivia Acland, who was looking her birthday best, and clutching three peacock feathers as a greeting gift. One of which was sadly stolen on a rather long walk home, by a drunken Halloween trick or treat, but the surviving two made it back to Sony’s flat (Olivia’s new man) where we were to be staying.
I became wildly over excited about London buses…fabulous machines; I had never really fully appreciated them before. Another exciting aspect of London living was of course that everybody spoke English. It almost felt too easy when we got hideously lost on route to Sony’s and fully understood the directions given by everyone passing by.
The city looked spectacular by night; the great London Bridge lit up in the night sky, its lights and glamour reflecting in the waters of the Thames. I appeared to be looking at London with fresh eyes, and having never thought much of it, in fact, I rather disliked the crowded, cold hustle and bustle on the smoky streets; I noticed now, the fabulous buildings, incredible architecture, and the friendly people. It was almost as though I were a foreigner in my own capital.
In fact, the tube system was so foreign, that when Olivia and I approached the ticket barriers, I confidently pulled her Oister card from my pocket, and thrust it into the card slot. Well, I thought it was the card slot, but it transpired to be the ticket slot. Oh dear, I thought, as I turned sheepishly to Liv, who stood in disbelief, as the ticket man began to dismantle the machine and retrieve her oister card.
I was kept out of sight, and inside after this, once I had finished photographing all the London buses, and speaking English to every Halloween freak that passed by. We spent a happy evening her new man’s flat, drinking wine, and smoking marijuana until the night turned light, and morning drew upon us.
I had arrived much later than planned because my flight from Bishkek took a horrific 24 hours, instead of ten, in fact, it was without doubt, the worst day of the past 6 months; a grueling affair, with countless delays, and perverted Kyrgyz men at every turn. Having finally boarded the flight to Istanbul, I eventually managed to drift off into the world of nod, only to be woken by the man next to me fondling my breast! Out of instinct, I lashed out, and hit the man, asking him ‘what do you think you’re doing?’ With his wife in the opposite isle, the man took one sheepish look to his left, and accused me of being mad. Since nobody spoke English and everybody understood Turkish, it was hopeless; they all clearly thought I had lost the plot and was busy telling porky pies- the whole thing was outrageous!
All in all the flight was without a doubt, a much bigger challenge than a 6 month Vespa escapade across Europe and Central Asia; which really was a piece of cake in comparison.
The only enjoyable factor really, was the birds-eye view of my route- I could see the little desert road that I chugged along in the 65 degree heat; the black sea that I cruised over with the mob of drunken Georgians, and the fabulous peaks and mountain ranges that I tackled with little Grettle only months previously- quite a spectacle!
I applied for my new passport having finally arrived, and met the Dorset rabble for a delicious Sunday roast in a London pub, before bidding them all farewell and taking the train south to Dorset to see my dear old stoats. For those of you who are wondering, the name stoats emerged in retaliation to a childhood referred to as weasel.
Dorset was fabulous fun, filled with James Bond viewings, lampshade sales, walks along the cobb, Champaign and general celebrations. During this time, my mother baked my father a hat to eat since his famous last words were ‘I’ll eat my hat if Grettle makes it to Kyrgyzstan!’ This was very a merry occasion and since the hat was so large, and surprisingly delicious, the remainder of my meals at home consisted of nothing but hat; hat and humus, hat and eggs, hat with ham…the list was endless!
The passport arrived as if by clockwork. Having begun to worry about how long it would take, I called the passport office who confirmed it had been sent, and moments later, the postman appeared at our front door with the important parcel.
I hopped back on the train to London…spent a strange night with two Romanian men, one with liv, and feeling ever so slightly worse for wear, boarded the flight back to Bishkek to pick up my work Visa.
I stayed in Sukara hostel for a couple of days. There was only one other man staying- a complete oddball is the only way to describe him. He said very little, stared a lot and frequently concocted strange looking potions in the kitchen. At one point, he appeared with a gruesome looking grey colored stew, pronouncing proudly to me ‘this simple meal is in your honor’ at which point I fled, and hopped in a taxi to the airport.
So here I am, awaiting the final leg of my journey to Ulaanbaatar! Seven months of teaching to come….wish me luck!
Flight was incredible….
Greeted by baatar….use email to the staots….