**** KAZAKHSTAN **** The purpose of cycling a desert – PART ONE – (EN)

**** PART ONE ****

“What is the purpose?” is the question that we receive as we cycle in this big wide and open space called ‘desert’ in the middle of western Kazachstan. Trying hard to make some progress, surrounded by its rugged remoteness and endless emptiness. All there is, is the absence of all. Which leaves us with only one thing on our mind: trying to get through.

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He opens the little window from his big fat car as he looks down up us and gives us a serious look, straight in the eyes. His expectations are high, that’s easy to see. Expecting an answer that will take away his sense of disbelief. Expecting us to come up with some brilliant and inspiring, philosophy.

Luke and I look at each other, as we look around us. With nothing but silence.

Well, what to say? On this cloudy and rainy day?

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His first question was kind of easy to answer. So that’s what we did. And it worked out well.

1.

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Do you need water?

– Well, that would be awesome!

* Rule number one *

Cycling a desert: you never turn off any offer to receive water.

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His second question was slightly challenging. But we managed.

2.

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Would you like some cookies?

Luke answers with a polite ‘no thank you we are fine’,

as my eyes start to sparkle just by hearing the magical sound of the word “cookies”,

and so I say ‘yes’ at the exact same time.

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* rule number two *

You never say  ‘no’ to cookies, no matter where you are.

*rule number three*

You definitely never say ‘no’ to cookies, if you are surrounded by a desert.

*rule number four*

There’s no space for being polite, cycling a desert.

No matter how well you are brought-up. It’s a matter of survival, and you are never going to survive by being polite.

(If our parents only knew!)

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Now that these questions were answered and our primary needs fulfilled, it was time for the ‘real talk’.

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3.

So. What is the purpose?

…….

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…..

But there was no answer.

Silence is all there was.

Silence from the outside.

From this ultimate remoteness of the desert.

Silence from within.

….

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…..

There was nothing.

And yet there was everything.

As in this fraction of a second, this accidental encounter with the driver made it painfully clear,

that there was no logical explanation or what so over,

for what the hell we were doing here.

…..

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How can you possibly explain in a surrounding like this, what the true purpose is?

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So  besides some humming and some stammering,

the answer stayed out.

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The driver looks at us, thinking well whatever,

as if we were still talking about cookies and the weather.

And just as we expect him to take off and say goodbye,

it turned out that he had a last question on his mind.

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4.

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Do you know Chris and Dea?

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This time the answer wasn’t to difficult.

We were sure this time we would pass the test,

as we look each other in the eyes and answer with a certain and unconditional

‘yes’.

Now all is good, the driver is content.

With a big smile on his face he says; they are my friends!

And just as abrupt and spontaneous as he popped into our day,

he said goodbye and continued his way.

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 PS. what would you say? If a random passenger stops you on your way and ask you about ‘ the purpose of all’? :)

-X-

Janneke

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