The feeling of a fly taking a leisurely meander across my cheek is one of the most infuriating I know. These ones are the non-biting type that like shit and hence I blame for my middle section feeling like one large cork that is being extracted in fifteen directions simultaneously from the bottle of Chateau Magrit that is my torso. Stimulating, yet totally devoid of pleasure.
Theyâ€™re quick too, so thereâ€™s never the short-lived pleasure that is achieved with the successful swatting of the mosquito thatâ€™s diligently filling up with your haemoglobin. At least you win the skirmish with mosquitoes, flies win the war without getting even a knick.
If I wasnâ€™t going on about flies, Iâ€™d be going on about hornets. The worldâ€™s largest hornets infest the restaurant across the square, mottled in the evening sun. Iâ€™d be there if one of Khivaâ€™s endless torrent of summer weddings hadnâ€™t taken over the place for the evening. Bride and groom looking dour and drawn after a dayâ€™s walking around the picture-perfect city under the 40+ degree sun. Still being teenagers, they have the stamina to last.
As it is, Iâ€™m sat under the essential shade of a birch tree. Uzbek pop music to accompany the wedding is pumping away at a volume that is disagreeably loud at 200 metres. There is a passing whiff of chicken shit and children have gathered around the spectacle of a man typing away on his laptop and words appearing on the screen. Never before have I seen word processing as a spectator sport.
I donâ€™t necessarily object to chicken shit; it reminds me of holidayâ€™s on my grandparentâ€™s Newfoundland farm as a child. Iâ€™m the only person I know who feels this way, but on occasions like this â€“ it is extremely useful.
When travelling, the difference is often the mundane, not the well known.