In which we are treated to excellent hospitality in a scenic valley.
After a successful day in Gharm, we decided to take advantage of Jora’s most generous offer to come to his village, and after navigating our way to the Avtovokzal, we headed to his village, about 25 minutes from Gharm. Upon arrival, Jora picked us up and told us that we’d first go to one of his friend’s places for an hour or so before going back to his house. And thus, we arrived at our first destination and found quite the spread before us.
After we had chatted a bit, Jora took us on to his home, at the very end of his little village. Again, the table was spread before us, and it was certainly not for lack of delicious options that we could only pick at the food before us. Luckily Jora had just watched eat at the last place, so he understood our limitations.
His wife came and joined us for a spell, though worried that her lack of Russian proficiency would be a problem. We assured her she was more than welcome to speak Tajik–the necessary bits were translated among us. It was nice to watch them interact, actually, because their interactions really gave the impression that, many years and children later, they still liked each other. Jora enjoyed teasing her in a very friendly way–in fact, when we came, he told her he had met some nice American girls and that we were coming for ten days. Part of us wished this had actually been the case.
Since the home was at the end of the village, the backyard went straight out to the mountains, and after we had had our fill, we set out to enjoy the scenery, sad to only have about half an hour or so. Not surprisingly, we were quite the spectacle. Not a lot of foreigners make it here, clearly, and a large group of boys gathered to watch us.
Really, quite the spectacle.
We even took a picture, although on Kevin’s camera, so I only have him orchestrating the self-timing set-up.
All too quickly, our time came to an end, and quite graciously, Jora agreed to drive us back to Dushanbe. We were careful to make sure he was well-paid for his flexibility and hospitality, particularly as he had intended to drive to Dushanbe the following morning. We vowed to return, although we’ll see how workable this will actually be.