|It’s about 3pm Tuesday we have ‘lost’ over 3 days where we could have been doing all the repairs so we crack on and spend long days in the workshop. It has been such a relief to come ‘home’ and we feel much more relaxed, that is until 9pm when the first minibus driver turns up and starts ranting that we haven’t paid the second 3000tenge, about half-hour later he disapears into the cafe part with our hosts leaving us in peace. We collaspe in bed about 11pm only to be woken by furious banging on the bedroom door which we choose to ignor. Next day dawns and it’s almost a repeat of yesterday, work on bike during the day irate minibus driver in late evening.The satisfying thing about the language barrier is that we wre able to tell the taxi driver exactly what we thought of him without getting hit because he didn’t understand a word. Kev made full use of this second time around and although it didn’t translate, the meaning was obviously clear because we never saw him again. We felt a bit edgy that evening not helped by the cafe girl choosing now to video us on her phone and more people are involved so Kev goes off and finds boss lady and explains exactly what happened using pen and paper, she seems to understand and we start to relax. Ten minutes later I see the cops arriving they come into the workshop and we shake their hands saying we expected to see them. After the usual questions of where are you from, going to, asking about the bike they go off into the cafe. We disscus what we should do and agree we will have to pay again or it could get nasty but after an hour we realise it was just coincidence and they have left their car for Victor to fix! During all this time an entire bus load of Uzbekistans have arrived where they are to sleep is anyones quess. It puts everyone on edge the workshop door is shut, tools put away and the water bucket from the well is even removed. We follow suit and pack up hardly an early night it is now 11.30pm. After a couple more days the Uzbeks eventually leave, the dunny by now is not pleasant but it’s all we have hardly surprising after 40 odd people using it. They slept on their bags in the yard the lucky ones women and kids in a kind of bunk house but ramo. I make the most of their absence and have a shower and catch-up on clothes washing, Kev takes the Guzz for a test ride.
I should take this time to describe a few things to you all. The bedding arrangement is a raised platform, plywood and scraps of wood about a foot high this is covered with a carpet and on to this you place covered lengths of foam to your desired softness two was enough in the begining but we added a few more later on. You then have the usual choice of a duvet and the air con on or nothing and the air con off. We also had a tv but only managed find the time to turn it on once. The dunny started off good by Kazak standards, it like all dunnys was situated outside the yard a good walk away, ours was a brick building most are wood, it had no door but an angled entrance enough to preserve your modisty, a wooden floor with a convenient cut out and for a while was swept clear of debis! This included discarded water bottles used to cleanse, I still used toilet paper having not got my head round the water cleansing method it seems too complicated. The only water available is in a holding tank in the yard delivered by a tanker. Similar to a well a bucket is dropped in, they had got some kind of pump which fed the sinks one in Victors back room, boss lady’s private room and the cafe all of which were locked if no one was around. So we made sure we always had a full bottle. I washed the clothes the old fashioned way, drew water from the well put in a bowl etc the good thing was the clothes were dry in minutes. Our shower was outside in the yard four large steel angle bars holding up a large steel water container this pecarious contraption was wrapped in black tape which ever so conviently stopped half-way up. Designed by a man obviously! Apart from the fact we never managed to get anything other than cold water it worked well and it was great to shower rather than bucket wash. The cafe was run well if you ignored the kittens everywhere and no hot water. The yard itself was like a graveyard for old coaches lorries and the odd cars but the whole place was full of character and we loved it. Going back to the dunnies I should spare a mention for truck stop/hotel those with sensitive stomachs skip the next few sentances. Kev went out before me and came back saying its not pretty lots of discarded paper, bottles and rather full and very smelly, so prepared I arrive at wooden shack open the door and no kidding I am faced with what I can only describe as so bad it was funny. Full is an understatement (bear in mind it is just a hole dug in the ground) some ingenious person had placed bricks to raise the floor enough to keep going what must have been another couple of months, I was amazed Kev had managed to step foot in here and leave in one piece. I hastly shut the door and walked around the back thinking to just use the building as a screen only to find another dunny full enough but passable to use, a great relief. Turns out this is the one Kev had gone to first and never saw the other!
Kev’s test ride was declared a success and he recons another day of tweeking and we will back on the road!