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Photographer's Note

My stay by the lake Iskandarkul came to an end and I had to travel back to Dushanbe. There is no public transport between Iskandarkul and the main road (over 20 km from my guesthouse). When I travelled to Iskandarkul from Dushanbe, I was dropped off by the lake by my shared taxi driver (who promised me that service as he was desperate to find one last passenger for his trip). But there are no shared taxi stands by the lake Iskandarkul. There are no marshrutkas (minibus) either. Walking to Sarvoda, almost 30 km away, with all my luggage was, at least in theory, possible but getting there on time to catch onward trasport wasn't.

Much as I hate paying for individual traport I had to hire a car with a driver to take me from Iskandarkul to Sarvoda. The driver arrived on time to pick me up... but it turned out he was also giving a lift to someone else, a local man. I didn't mind, even though I knew I was paying for both of us. I was sitting in the car with my feet resting on jars of preserves my driver was delivering somewhere and I didn't mind I was paying for the petrol for that either. We are all humans and have to help each other... and above all, I really wanted to get to Dushanbe to catch my flight back home the following day.

I was much less impressed when, instead of going straight to Sarvoda, we turned into a bumpy dirt track, stopped in a small village, my driver got off the card and disappeared for ages. I could see he entered the garden of a house by the road and exchanged greetings and hugs with other men there, most of whom were wearing traditional clothes (see the WS photo). It turned out later he decided to use the fact I was paying for his petrol to spend some time at a wedding party on the way.

Instead of sitting in the car, watching the clock and worrying I'd miss the last shared taxi from Sarvoda to Dushanbe, I got off and used the break as an opportunity to take photos of the village and its inhabitants, including a bunch of playful kids.

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1579 W: 9 N: 3207] (16658)
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