Before anyone even a small journey through Asia, I was scared of possible rude locals. They said that the backpacker-alone necessarily robbed. They advised to avoid this in many ways, but perhaps the only one of the methods proved to be really effective.
In preparation for the pedestrian hike along the eastern shore of Lake Baikal, I met with Valentin Bryansk, Irkutsk famous walker. He was frequently in those places, and promised to tell you about the dangers awaiting me.
- Do not think of wolves and bears – said Valentin Petrovich. – They’re well fed. Beware the beast on two legs – Buryatia. He is drunk, immediately pulls out the knife. Bypass Buryat village side. Obkradut or even killed …
I, too, spoke of Mongolia – first residents Kyrena, then customs in Monda, tourists Hanh:
- Predators dangerous. But worse than all the beasts of the Mongols. Seeing that you are traveling alone, and attack.
In Hanh, I met with the head of the administration, Dagvadorj. He told me that now the Mongols forgotten respect for the Russian and are not afraid of their plunder; “to the Soviet attitude was different.”
Dagvadorj, fearing for me, I promised to help. Over a cup of tea, he said that in Mongolia lead ahead of traveler:
- I noticed you horseman rode on; I met in the desert with another rider. Both dismounted, sat down on the grass and began, smoking, talking about the news. At the same time you mentioned. So, from one to another, soon to tens of kilometers ahead everyone will know what’s on Khubsugul lone traveler. Someone immediately and forget, and some think that tourists can take away something of value, and decides with friends waiting for you on the road.
Just Dagvadorj told me that in the XIII century, Genghis Khan subscribed to fit his letter to people – “bichig” stamped – “tamga” (from the word, and there was our “Customs”). It protects against attacks. Criminals are afraid to rob a man with such a letter; We knew that the car would Timucin inevitable.
- This tradition is preserved – said Dagvadorj and soon I wrote an accompanying sheet, approved by his seal. In addition, he married his photo. And punished to show these “documents” to anyone who is interested me – tell everyone you’re my friend, and shows the card. Even if you meet a burglar, tell him “bichig” and give it to the letter. You leave. We have had iniquity, but bichig with tamga from the time of Genghis Khan always respected.
By the way, in almost every city of the Mongolian certainly showed me the grave of Genghis Khan and proudly said:
- This tomb – real. Our historians have proven! Others do not believe it, others cheated.
In fact, they say, too, and in China, and even in Japan. Here, as in the joke about Alexander the Great, where students of the Faculty of History at first showed his skull to five years, then – fifteen, and then – in the twenty …
Bichigom with tamga I unfortunately never had the chance to take advantage of … No one I have not attacked.
On the lake, despite the words of Bryansk, Buryats I only helped. Later, in Kyzyl Tuva and other cities, despite warnings that evil to the Russian Tuva, I too was neither robbed nor killed and did not even hear the insults. In Mongolia, the locals were friendly. In the provinces of China timers whole crowd trying to figure out which side to look at the map …
My little experience convinces me that a lot depends on the person. When you come to a foreign country, in your kindliness – hope for safety. If you’re ready for conflict, especially in difficult situations, it is likely to happen once the conflict. In this I am, of course, rule out the action of these criminals. However, they live in all cities and attack not only on tourists. In dealing with compatriots times greater risk than with strangers, because it lacks is hospitality.
People allow themselves to someone rude, but welcoming to strangers. So it is a journey – a country whose people are cruel to each other, can be crossed in welcoming dialogue and security.
It’s funny, but now the warnings about people who are “worse than animals,” I consider a good sign. Among these people, I was able to meet and talk only with sympathetic or at least tolerant.