There are lots of reasons why you might be waiting up in a hostel. Some here, like Nick and I, are waiting for Visas. Some are waiting for flights, to arrange transport to their next destination, or using the hostel as a place of rest or respite, or even a sanctuary from all that is happening outside the gates, in yet another foreign country. Some are using it as a place to get over an illness, the Pamir Lurgy has hit many of us.
As I sit here, in this sanctuary, recovering from illness, resting from hard cycling days, waiting for visas, I'm getting to observe lots of other travellers, hear their stories, and listen to their plans. Some are very interesting, some bizarre, and some....well you have to wonder.....what are they thinking?
There's the overweight American professor, with his long hair tied in a ponytail. He likes to give "lessons", and he seems to lecture his colleagues via Skype about his adventures. Mainly they seem to consist of sitting in the back of cars, being shown around by non English speaking guides, who are ripping him off big time. He's paying way over the normal price for stuff....which taints the expectations of the locals when it comes to "normal" tourists and what they can afford.
Then there's the Guy who is dead set on going to Afghanistan, Kabul. Yesterday a bomb in Kabul killed or injured 500 people, but this guy is flying there today......to see Taliban. He has bought "local" clothes, but doesn't quite seem to understand, that speaking no local language, with a guitar over one shoulder, and a pink Barbie Doll backpack over the other, he is going to stand out as a tourist..... and Afghanistan and Kabul are an unsafe place for tourists this week......
Then there was the very loud voiced German. He knows everything, about everything, and likes to give his opinion, in a very loud voice, dominating every conversation. Sadly he cycled out of the hostel this morning.
The lovely Slovenian couple that I met in Sary Tash, and have been following ever since, also left yesterday. She was unable to kick the bout of Pamir Lurgy, and they have run out of time to finish their cycle trip to Osh. They flew home via Prague and Graz. Thankfully, Juliet and I will get to see them again when we cycle through Slovenia.
There's a young Korean couple, cyclists, resting here. He is some sort of Sea Captain, and she an educator. They are not used to spending so much time together, as he can be away for six months at a time at sea. They are coping very well, but at times you can see that they are still getting used to prolonged time together. (Something all us lone cyclists need to be aware of when we finally get home).
Two young Israeli lads, so unlike the reputation of their compatriots, very generously cooked up a feast on Friday night, for all who wished to partake. Apparently a family tradition in Israel.
There was an annoying young Czech cyclist, who also knew everything. He has been following us since Kharog, and was "a very quick cyclist", and "I think your tyres are too bald for these roads", and "a trailer is not suitable for these roads", and "I only ride in good weather so I see the views", and "you should go this way, because..." and on and on and on......... He has disappeared without trace.........
The gullible bouncy Basque lady has moved on as well. Her adventure seems to be traveling as quickly as possible between major towns, where she can book her next air ticket. She usually gets rides at night so she doesn't have to pay for beds, but many of the rides take up to 18 hours, and she's so tired in the car, she sleeps, and misses all the sights.
Their are two grumpy over it Poms here. They've been in Central Asia for ten weeks, and have had nothing but " too bloody hot", "continuous rain", and "too much cloud to see the views". Also, "bleeding crap food", "blimmening ripping off locals", and "moaning unhappy tourists".......what? They're off to Bangkok tonight. They're unsure whether or not to cancel their NZ part of their trip, as they've heard El Nino brings nothing but rain to NZ.
The tall skinny pleasant Dutch cyclist left yesterday. He was very excited to be here in Tajikistan, and heading into the Pamir. He was fill of queries about what he could expect on his adventure. A really nice guy.
The Italian and Spanish twosome who have obviously only very recently met and fancy each other. They've closed themselves into a private cocoon. Who knows what they're thinking, discussing, planning?
And then the Aussie, feeling really crook from his tough Pamir cycle, he went even further downhill hearing about the Aussie cricket score, but lifted at last night's Bledisloe results......eh Nick? Wait till next week buddie. You're going to be depressed again.
In the meantime, I'm recovering. Even managed a trip to the Bizarre yesterday.