Chronological schedule of selected events that occurred during the weekend of February 21st, 2014.
Friday, February 21st
17:50: Arrive at my favorite pub, Stalker, 10 minutes before they open to watch Sweden beat Finland in the Olympic men’s ice hockey semi-finals. Celebrate.
20:42: Watch the Ukrainian women win in the Biathlon relay. Celebrate.
23:03: My friend Alex arrives at the pub.
23:05: Alex tells me his friend could not go to Karakol, Kyrgyzstan for the weekend. Alex does not want to go alone. Alex tells me I can go with him, and he’ll pay for transportation and lodging.
23:09: I agree to go with Alex.
23:20: Leave pub with Alex, return home, pack things for Karakol.
23:49: Arrive at Ritz Carlton Hotel at Essentai. Have some tea.
Saturday, February 22nd
00:14: Leave Ritz Carlton with Alex’s stuff.
04:19: Arrive at Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan border.
04:31: Cross into Kyrgyzstan
04:35: Meet new driver, depart for Karakol.
09:47: Arrive at Karakol Coffee. Ask Aigerim where to stay, she recommends SunHouse Hostel. Have some coffee.
10:25: Arrive at SunHouse Hostel. Meet Sergey. Have some tea.
12:20: Go skiing at Karakol ski base. Ski.
16:42: Notice some sort of festival involving horses is happening at the Hippodrome in Karakol.
16:54: Discover there is a Kökbürü tournament going on, watch some of the games.
17:02: Meet random guy who loves Americans at Kökbürü tournament.
17:10: Random guy agrees to let us ride some of the horses the next day.
17:40: Leave Hippodrome, return to town and hostel.
~19:22: Celebrate being in Karakol.
Sunday, February 23rd
10:21: Try to recover from celebrations.
11:47: Decide not to go skiing. Have some tea.
12:20: Walk to Hippodrome.
13:37: See horse break its leg. Suddenly Kökbürü looses some of its awesomeness.
15:45: Meet random guy who loves Americans after seeing that he was filming the event on an iPad.
16:50: Watch some sort of dispute between two teams. Or at least it might have been a dispute. They spoke entirely in Kyrgyz.
17:07: Ride some stallions.
17:45: Leave hippodrome.
17:55: Explore weird abandoned cement factory.
18:01: Return to Sunhouse, have a banya.
17:05: Leave Sunhouse hostel. Drive to Kyrgyz border in snowstorm.
22:40: Arrive at Kyrgyzstan/Kazakhstan border.
22:58: Cross into Kazakhstan.
23:05: Meet old driver.
Monday, February 24th.
04:53: Arrive back at my apartment. The happiest I’ve ever been to see my bed. Sleep, sweet and glorious, came quickly.