“Khorog is safe now. You will have no problems going through there. Please send me a message after you get to Dushanbe so we know you are safe.” Twenty-two-year-old Matrop didn’t blink an eye as he offered this subtle contradiction and poured me another bowl of green tea.
Midway through a four-week journey across Tajikistan, I had stopped on July 27 to spend the night at Matrop’s family’s home in the Wakhan Corridor village of Darshai, across the river from Afghanistan. After learning that I spoke Russian, one of Matrop’s friends anxiously informed me that Khorog, four-hours drive northwest, had a “war raging in the streets.” Huh? The fighting had already been going on for three days, but out in remoter parts of Gorno-Badakhshan province I hadn’t heard a thing.
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