Starry : A Tale of Two Nights

One night, I walked the dry river bed out across the desert and to the water’s edge. During the day it is a popular draw in the region, full of locals and tourists; now it is completely empty. The flicker of a bonfire miles away is the only sign of human habitation. I slip into … Continue reading

A land far, far away…

I know, I know. I came back from holiday and got you all excited with a whole week of daily posts. And then I dropped back into the vortex of virtual silence from whence I came, but without the excuse of Asian deserts and pre-industrial landscapes. The thing is, I came back brimming with stories … Continue reading

Kids are the same everywhere

So I’m back in the land of the living. And I figure it’s fitting to pay homage to a kid who really knows how to live. This kid? He lives on the side of a dusty highway. His mom boils corn on the cob in old steel barrels to sell to passing cars (like the … Continue reading

cookies & a competition

Lurgy has struck our house like putrid lightning. Sorry for the delay in my otherwise thrilling travelogues. Today I give you a brief peek at Russian novelty biscuits. Mass produced snack foods in any country are by turns intriguing and perplexing. What counts as junk food and how it is marketed in various locales is … Continue reading

like Marbles, but better

Night falls quickly in the mountains. There is a brief lull between after dinner tea and the blinding darkness. A darkness that comes so thick and fast it makes brushing teeth in the far-away, bug-ridden, and pitch-black outhouse seem highly optional. But in this in-between moment where the day ends and night hasn’t yet started … Continue reading

Yurts 201: Reeds & Rats

So remember those Yurts I showed you? Super awesome, right? Well, like any good vacation story, they come with some (I’m going to say hilarious because that’s how I hope I will look back on them in 20 years) downsides. You’ll remember that the reed mats yurts are lined with are hella hard work. I … Continue reading

The Darker Truths

Upon reflection, I make this trip sound like it was a fairy tale. It was. But a real, proper Grimm’s fairy tale where people are drawn and quartered and there is as much misery as there is joy. Don’t get me wrong. There was joy. Tons of it. In no particular order this included: singing … Continue reading

The Kyrgyz Landscape

Legend has it that God created the world in six days and then took a rest, relaxing in all he had made. Afterward, all the peoples of the earth came to his resting place to pay him homage. He gifted each tribe with a corner of the world in which to grow and prosper. But … Continue reading

Yurt 101

Yurts are the traditional round houses of nomadic Asian tribes (should you want details on its origins (hint: it’s not Mongolian) – see here). A yurt is vaguely equivalent to a teepee in that it was originally intended as a permanent home for communities on the go. You can put one up and take it … Continue reading

Our adventure has been mindblowing, awe-inspiring and (on occasion) terrifying. Imagine a country which is old world and romantic, in a landscape both rugged and wild. The best and worst of fairy tales brought to life – and alive it most certainly is. When I get over the culture shock of homecoming and finally trawl … Continue reading