Near Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2011.

(See photographs of Kyrgyzstan.)

Evening, and we’re driving back to our accommodation along the side of Lake Issyk-Kul.
As we drive I see on my right a yurt, out in the field, people milling around. It was the time of evening that the light is becoming magical, known in some quarters as the “golden hour”. I ask my colleagues if we can stop. Everyone is hungry, wants to go to the hotel, wants a beer, we’d been out all day. “Aw, come on guys, 15 minutes, look at the light”.
We stopped the car and ambled over to say hello to the people outside the yurt. The Doctor (as he was known amongst us) would chat away, an expert in making small talk whilst I photographed. The light was magical, low, dramatic, a beautiful sky above it. There were a few people and two kids. I photograph the kids with their turkey chicks, the chicks so backlit that they look like x-rays.
The kids are shy, and curious, not many Westerners stop their car here I guess. The boy goads the girl into saying something. She finds the courage and asks in perfect, but hesitant, English, “what is your name ?”. I tell her, she beams with pride, a beaming smile as luminous as the setting sun over on the horizon.
We say our goodbyes, and head on. The accommodation we were staying in was surreal. There were bedrooms accessible only by elevator in a tower, which revolved (this description does the place no merit). But we’d decided the elevator would be too annoying and slow to use on a daily basis, so we went for more normal rooms. The rooms I now forget, but the dining room was surreal. Think medieval banquet dungeon. So hungry and thirsty, and in keeping with the theme of the establishment, and the good nature of my two colleagues, (by now on our 2nd or 3rd assignment together we were great friends), we dined in the evening as if in a Shakespearean play. “Oh my dear fellow, would thoust kindly call thy maid and order two more flagons of those finest ales, for from my parched throat one has to wash the Kyrgyz dirt. I have been on my steed all day, over yonder, searching for images”. You get the drift, Shakespeare all through dinner. After all, one has to amuse oneself at the end of a long day.

(See photographs of Kyrgyzstan.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *