Real, honest, open hospitality is a truly amazing thing. This tradition runs deep through the cultures of most of Central Asia, but in my experiences nowhere near as much as Tajikistan.
Though there are some really well-run and welcoming homestays in Tajikistan’s Fan Mountains, they don’t quite cover the whole region.
How fortunate, then, that one can roll into seemingly any village in the region and be reasonably sure of finding a dry warm place to spend a night!
The idea extends to far more than just a place to crash, though. Everywhere I spent any length of time I inevitably met someone interested in trying to chat, talk about life here or there, and share a pot of tea.
It was, in fact, these experiences that convinced me to move to Bishkek for a while to study Russian. It finally became downright painful to meet so many people who wanted to communicate, and be unable to break past a certain point of vocabulary.
Thanks, again, to all the people who went out of their way to give me a place to sleep or chat over some tea and bread. This is part of what makes Tajikistan (and all of Central Asia) such an amazing place.