Town Between Two Kinds Of Mountains
Naryn Travel Blog› entry 49 of 83 › view all entries
After another good breakfast (cream of wheat, rolls, honey, raspberry preserves) the first thing I did in the morning was go to the bank to change more money, having miscalculating how much I’d need before exiting the country. I got to the bank before the exchange booth was ready, and a girl instructed me to wait in a stairwell for a few minutes. Soon a guard came along, closed two jail cell-like doors and bolted me in the stairwell along with a couple other people. They opened another door and a high-pitched alarm sounded for about 10 minutes while they retrieved money from the safe. By this time there were about six of us locked up in the bank’s stairwell. Eventually we were released and I successfully changed my money and caught a taxi to Naryn.
In the taxi I met Azamat, a young guy with excellent language skills, including slang.
I found a place to stay from a posting on the door of the Community Based Tourism office. The second number I called happened to be the closest to where I was, and turned out to be quite nice. A middle-aged woman had an extra flat devoted to tourists, and since I was the only one at the time, I got an entire apartment to myself, complete with space heaters, a nice bathroom with a shower, a kitchen and a living room. I was hungry, so after dropping my stuff I went down the street to Café Nur for a quick lunch and then across the
After another goodbye, I walked over a footbridge and on along the main river towards the center of town. I passed a University of Central Asia campus, a large government building, theater and a bazaar that was closing up for the day. I met more schoolchildren who followed me, but these were respectful and friendly and we communicated in broken Kyrgyz and Russian. It was dusk at this point but I wanted to see the city’s mosque, so I continued on after the boys went home. It was probably in the mid-20s, but the wind wasn’t too strong. The mosque was large and seemed a little out of place, but impressive. I wondered how many people attended Friday prayers.
I caught a wet, dusty trolleybus back to the center of town and entered the post office to find Internet. Up one flight of stairs and across a deserted room, a door in the corner was the gateway to one of the slowest connections I’d experienced. When I left it was pitch black and I was thankful that my cell phone had a built-in flashlight.
From there I walked to a restaurant where on the concrete dance floor I saw a few uniformed police officers getting down to some bad 80s music that was still popular in these parts. Tables were draped in gold lame and the ambience conjured the