Spring break 2019 is in full swing. I’ve seen a lot of Instagram stories from my friends back in school kicking it on the beaches of Mexico, bombed out of their minds in Miami night clubs, or knee deep the trash of South Padre Island. (Let’s not forget that everyone who decides to go to the cesspool that is South Padre Island must first make a stop in Nashville, to at the very least enjoy some of the country’s finest BBQ, take in some live music, and give the trip a shred of class.) No matter the location spring break is bound to be a drunken shit show, hell that’s the point.
Well, Donnie and I are about to flip spring break on its head. Forget South Padre, we’re headed to Tajikistan. Ever heard of it? I’ll be honest before a few weeks ago, I had not. It’s a relatively small country in Central Asia, bordering Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.
Now, I’ve never been to any of the Stans before, so I have no idea what to expect. Really all my knowledge of the region comes from Borat, while one of my all-time favorite moves, I don’t think it accurately depicts the region we are about to enter, so I guess I’m going in blind. As far as geopolitics go I’m not going to pretend like I know anything of real substance, all I know is we’re not allowed to go into Afghanistan, pretty sure it might have something to do with the war. Aside from that everything else is said to be safe.
So why the hell are we going? I lied, it’s not exactly a spring break trip. We’re going to cover the sport of Buzkashi, a game that originated from nomadic Turkic tribes in the 15th century. The word “Buzkashi” literally means “goat pulling” in Persian. From what I can tell it is basically rugby on horseback, only instead of a ball, you play with a headless goat, dead of course.
Aside from that, I can’t seem to find any solid information that describes the rules of the game, it seems to change from village to village. What I do know is that we are visiting the country at peak Buzkashi season. March 21st is Tajikistan independence day and its said to be the best time to witness the games. Much like the rules, there doesn’t seem to be any clear schedule on when or where the games are played. However, from the research we have done it seems that our best chance at witnessing the game first hand is to head off into the more remote mountain villages. All I know for sure is this sport looks wild, and I can’t wait to see it played firsthand. We have a local guide who will be helping us through the countryside. We land in the capital city of Dushanbe, from there it’s anyone’s guess as to where we will go.
Donnie and I head to the airport in less than four hours, so it’s time for me to go to bed. We will be on the road for the next few weeks. We won’t return to Shanghai until the end of April. All our travels will be documented on our youtube page, and I will keep a written account here.
The adventure starts in a few hours, this trip will be wild. Stay tuned.
Monday, March 19th 2:23 AM- Shanghai, China.