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Unconditional hospitality

KYRGYZSTAN | Thursday, 28 May 2015 | Views [373] | Scholarship Entry

Kyrgyzstan seems boring. Economically backward, Kyrgyzstan does not have an allure of modern architecture and nightlife. Neither did its history or traditions interest me. However, I found myself driven by my dad to a little village called Maymak with population of approximately 800 people. We were going to people, whom we never even saw.

Anyways, while we were driving, I saw a boundless steppe, juxtaposed with lots of adobe rural houses in a poor condition. Once we arrived we received the warmest welcome by total strangers. Though only when I was told about a waterfall i got excited. Yey! However, once we got there, the waterfall turned out to be some sort of a waterslide and nothing more. And the river was not deep and the current was too fast. I felt a little deceived. But since we were there anyway I decided to swim because "why not?" The problem was; however, that being such an inexperienced swimmer as I am, it was hard for me to enjoy the swimming in such a shallow stream. To my surprise, one of our hosts took me by my hand and walked me against the current so I will be able to relax and be carried by the stream. His being so worried about me not having fun made me feel treated like a royalty, but many times better than in, say, luxurious hotels because I knew it was sincere and not because i payed money (because I didn't). When we returned to the house, we were given a humble bed, but it was the best in the house. What's more, the hosts made shashlyk(something like BBQ) for us. There was nothing fancy, photos from that trip wouldn't look cool on the instagram, but it was the best those people have. Needless to say, their intentions made everything perfect. We enjoyed simplicity and luxury of human interaction without having to check up our Facebook or Twitter accounts. Those people were so accepting and I didn't feel any need to show off or anything because I felt welcomed unconditionally. I would call it "unconditional hospitality" because they didn't even know me, but were more welcoming than many of my friends. Such communication, when one's social position and wealth is not taken into account and they can be just a human, seems so rare nowadays. I guess, hospitality is the main travel treasure I found in that trip. Of course, it wasn't like visiting, say, Europe, but it wasn't worse because traveling is not so much about places, as how they make us feel, and those people made me feel perfectly happy.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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