stress

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I woke up in a wet world. The only thing that wasn’t moist was the inside of my tent. I packed up and started walking:

morning in Nij

There was a myst of morning due that hung in the air…

leaving Nij

…covering everything in a thin layer of water:

soft light in Nij

It took a while for the sun to cut through the morning, and as it did, it laid bare the rivers and the mountains that were left and right of the road:

river near Nij

And then the road itself started glowing:

road near Nij

Even though I don’t speak the language, it still seemed clear to me that this sign was dripping with nationalist resentment towards Armenia:

Get Karabagh back

Azerbaijan and its neighbor were in a cold state of war over territories that had been occupied. Or stolen. Or regained…

I hadn’t had a hot meal in more than a day. So when I noticed an open-air restaurant I stopped and spread out all my wet things for them to dry in the sun:

drying the tent

Then I ordered some food and sat down to relax.

Only I didn’t relax at all because there were a bunch of wasps, and I am scared to death of wasps, and they were very hungry and aggressive, and when I looked at my watch it told me that I had HIGH STRESS:

high stress

And I thought no shit, HIGH STRESS, eh?

I tried to stay strong in the face of overwhelming adversity, but in the end I resorted to wolfing down my food, packing up my stuff, and leaving.

The road was easy after that, only my stomach hurt a little. Also, I felt genuinely exhausted. But yes, the road was easy:

road in the Caucasus

There were little dudes who seemed very excited about the Caboose and me and everything in general:

little dudes

And there were those whose time had already passed:

graves

But it seemed as if they, too, were quietly looking on.

And so I walked on into the glow of the late afternoon, and it looked just like the glow of the morning, just a little bit more yellow:

road with trees

Then night fell, and I was still walking:

night

There was the odd shop here or there that was still open:

shop at night

And sometimes there was a stand where people sold honey or pancakes or other food:

a place that sells honey

And so I didn’t feel so alone in the night.

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