'Prepare to be immersed in the heat and vibrancy of Florida's natural world, full of such sensual detail that to read it is to breathe it in.' -Jo Shapcott [review of Greyhound Night Service]

Arrival, Kyrgyz Republic

The day began as I wish all days would: me waking with the very first dawn light, but today I saw the dawn from 33,000 feet. I'd been watching the few, sporadic lights on the ground as our plane flew over Uzbekistan, then I dozed off to my Indigo Girls playlist. When I woke, the blue-black night was feinter, the orange blinking wing-tip light grown dimmer too. On the horizon ahead, a line of blood-orange red. Over the next half hour the line turned a thick yellow, then oranger but the sky lightened only at this seam where it slowly held all the colours: indigo at the top of the stripe / blue, a line as pencil-drawn / greenish-yellow then a magenta orange with just the border of sky caught alight with the still invisible sun. And then
he rose
a flash of sun so sudden, blinding I jerked back from the small curved window so my friend in the seat beside me said, what, what?  
The sun's awake, I said.

After a full day of arrival whose remarkable things included:
  • The most packed and badly-driven roads I've experienced so far in my life
  • Hot, enveloping fullness of Kyrgyz summer (even on its way out) after all the English rain last week
  • An airport where our plane was the only arrival so far
  • Harry, the beautifully statuesque and nearly translucent hairless cat climbing me like a tree to say hello

--the day came to an end just as well as it began. After a wonderful dinner ouside in the evening air, with mint lemonade, skewers of chicken and beef, deep fried bread and aubergine salads, my newly made friend said, Look at the sky. Sunset in the clouds, a pale blue with indigo spreading its ink, a hint of tangerine fading to black. A warm breeze in the cooling evening, a fitting end to my first day in the furthest east I've ever been.