Last week, we went on another road trip. As I mentioned last week, these trips are a highlight for me. One of the key aspects that I love is the company you keep and the things you do in the car. I think this is a universally held opinion; why else would we want to do road trips with our best friends or family? This doesn’t mean that conversation always has to be flowing, but often long stories emerge, secrets are revealed through meandering conversations and we just get to know each other better.
But before I get maudlin, I want to bring up another part of road trips that I love: the snacks. Yessiree… when else can we buy the worst junk food, then stop at any fast food joint that hits the fancy along the way? Fast food in Kyrgyzstan looks a little different. There are no drive-throughs, but there are places along the road where a yurt is set up and you can buy fresh kumuz (horse milk), fresh honey, smoked fish or whatever the current fresh fruit or vegetable is fresh off the farm. Also, in just about any town we drive through we pass along the bazaar and there is always the possibility to buy fresh bread and stop for an outhouse.
One tempting treat we often crave on hot summer drives is an ice cream bar. Almost every kiosk sells them in little deep freezes in most towns along the way. There are the same brands available everywhere, so you usually know what treat you can have before you even pull the hot and dusty car up to the side of the road. There was this one time, though, when we got more than we paid for in our ice cream treat. Our friend took one bite off the top of his cone and in shock pulled out of his mouth a piece of tooth that was in the ice cream. We had to take a picture of this momentous occasion, and were so grateful that we got to observe that treat instead of taste it.