Kyrgyzstan kids were quite the feature of the ride from Osh to Irkeshtam. Their enthusiasm and friendliness is symbolic of the overall friendliness of the people we encountered and was like a mirror of my own excitement to be there.
The kids have an optical lense on par with the Hubble telescope. You hear the war cry of ‘hello’ first. Not knowing where to look a panicked hand is raised in defense to wave whilst your head performs an exorcist spin to locate them.
Soon they are by the road side wanting the high fives to celebrate their spot. It’s not normally one, sometimes whole village of kids are crawling out every hole on sight just to get a hand slap
If you stop during the maul soon every knuck and cranny is being inspected, gear levers twisted, buckles being undone. So you had to be armed with sufficient engagement techniques to keep them at bay.
Here are some of the highlights of the kids we met
These kids just came and squatted by our camp when we became their neighbours for the night. I tried to engage them beyond staring but they just stared. After one round of high fives, I tried to engage them in drawing and animal noises but these did not work even if they got a small smile.
One thing you might notice is the Christmas jumper he is wearing. I saw quite a few kids in them. A reminder of their poverty and our consumption.
This was a village attack. Their communication lines allowed for a quick manouver as soon as we touched the entry of the village. Streaming out of all sides we soon had a mob on our tail. This was a particularly long day in the sun and with supplies low we had to make a stop like the Mariner stopping to trade dirt in Waterworld. We found a water hole that served the whole village, including the cattle. As soon as we stopped we had to keep the kids at bay whilst filling up our bottles. Luke managed the logistics of filtering and purifying why I tried to hold back the kids.
Some of their loyalty was weak and I distracted them by recruiting them to help unpack my bags. For the rest their weak minds were easily overcome with a round of fist pumps and chanting of the word safe. Soon I felt like Skepta as I fist pumped the obeying crowd. Whilst a fist pump is powerful the most effective defence actually came from the mosque. When the Imam began his call the kids stopped, squatted and after hand signals we duly followed (but carried on filling our water).
Then in one final display of dominance I captured their loyalty with their hand signature.
These wild kids were found on the long road to Irkeshtam from Sary Tash. The kid bandits with their dogs and donkeys tried to form make shift road blocks. Fortunately, many years of playing british bull dog allowed me to spot that the donkey was not too quick on its feet. After being brought to a stand still my bike feigned one way, the donkey fell for it and I was gone. The only difference to playground british bull dog that this was 70km from wall to wall. This meant we encountered more down the road. The other two road blocks I used my bike’s tank like properties to scare them off the road like the bigger, stronger kid steam rolling the smaller, puny kid. Obviously no pictures were taken but I felt like I was in Mad Max so just imagine that but without the rocket cars and guns.