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  • Day170

    Yet another act of kindness

    August 27 in Tajikistan ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    So, usually my daily routine after a day of driving on demanding terrain is to get underneath the car and check that everything is still in place and all the bolts are tightened. Now, while the road through the Wakhan valley in the mountains of Tajikistan definitely falls into that category, yesterday I forgot to follow my routine. Of course Murphy was waiting around the next corner to enforce his dreaded law! The next corner being the even more remote Bartang valley.
    About 80km into the 280km drive through the valley we noticed a very strange sound coming from underneath the car. A quick inspection revealed that the bolt holding the rear left shock absorber in place had developed its own plans on how to continue its journey and hence had left us at some time on the road. Leaving the absorber awkwardly hanging down on the gravel.
    Of course no man or bolt gets left behind, so I quickly strapped the shock absorber in place to turn around and unsuccessfully try to find the missing parts.
    So, what now? Well don’t you worry. After we stopped to take another look on foot in the little town we were in at the time, we were instantly greeted by the villagers (we had passed them three times by now and they probably thought us rather odd. But they still approached us smilingly). A bit of chit chat and I explained that there’s a problem with the car. One look and 2 min later there were four guys inspecting the hanging shock absorber. What followed is still hard to comprehend. Not only did one of the guys have the right bolt, washer AND bushing to fix the suspension but also nobody would accept any compensation whatsoever. Instead they smiled, waved and wished us good luck while walking away.
    But here comes the best part. While I was busy with the guys and the car, Jo had made friends with Pari, one of the women living in the village. She owns a guesthouse and is the local English teacher. Pari not only helped to translate few bits and pieces, but she also brought us a basket full of apricots, peaches, onions and a huge pumpkin as a parting gift.

    People are just amazing!! Thanks Tajikistan!
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