Sleeping in Iran proved to be less of a challenge than many other countries we walked.
Ali waves to us from the top of the hill. We wave back, reluctantly.
It’s the end of our walking day, and we are scanning the desert landscape for a suitable campsite. We have our eye on an abandoned house on the flattened section of the hill not far from where Ali is standing. Continue reading One Moment: Those People
We want to show you how our typical conversation goes in India.
It’s an unspoken chat, done in universal sign language.
I stand in a shower of full moon beams, listening to the prayers vibrating from the nearby loudspeaker of the temple. The shadows of the trees in the garden dance on the ground.
We notice a lot of things when walking the world.
As similar as we all are, we do things differently, either because of customs, cultures or habits.
Here are a few of the curious things we discovered in Bangladesh, in random order. (Lluís does a much better job remembering and noting all these little things. Check out his post in Catalan, published the same day as this one; you can use Google translate to get the gist.)
Thanks, Reddit! We appreciate the questions and conversation. We hope to do round two in a few months.
Here’s where you can find the first Q&A: https://m.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/5d50aa/hi_im_jenn_hi_im_lluís_we_are_walking_home_about/
These Tajik and Russian words will long echo in our ears and our hearts. They are more than an invitation for tea. They are a way into people’s homes and lives. They are reflections of a kind of hospitality people in today’s busy world don’t seem to have time for any more. These words have come to mean “Tajikistan” to us.
We trudge forward. Hours drag on.
Each step brings us to another curve leading to a long stretch of alpine nothingness. It’s just us alone in the world, heads down and walking different paces alongside the Panj River that sometimes meanders a few meters below or rages through narrow gorges.
There’s comfort in solitude. There’s unity between the human spirit and the natural world. There’s also a simultaneous sense of bigness and smallness, being a speck in the shadow of mountainous greatness while having a heart large enough to notice the smallest rock sparkling in the sunshine.
It’s easy to get lost in these long stretches in between Pamir towns. The monotony invites a meditative calm, a peace that comes with moving at about three kilometers an hour. It often, too, stirs restlessness and a string of unconnected thoughts anxious for answers or impatience from feeling like we are going nowhere fast.
We round a bend on the bumpy road, and I am immediately spellbound. I want to ask the driver to stop the car so I can fall to my knees and bow in honor the beauty before me. My jaw keeps slipping towards my chest with each rock we roll over. My eyes tear up.
“My god. It’s beautiful.” I whisper over the lump in my throat. I can’t make my mouth spit out the words, “Stop, please, stop. We must see this greatness at a standstill.”
I have never before truly understood what compels climbers to summit the world’s biggest mountains, but now I catch a glimmer into their psyche. Staring at the Hindu Kush from the road snaking through Tajikistan’s southern corner, all I want to do is touch these faraway jagged, snowy peaks. Touching them with my eyes is not enough. I want to touch them with my soul.
Since our walking pause was slightly longer-than-expected, we took the opportunity to rest up and slow down.