LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT GOAT POLO (OTHERWISE KNOWN AS BUZKASHI)

Hint: it is not at all like polo
  1. This time two weeks ago I was in Uzbekistan on a school trip.
    This is bizzarre I know, but my school is weird, and the trip was great.
  2. Our guide was a famous Buzkashi star.
  3. He told about this famous game that the Uzbeks love, though we didn't really GET it at this point.
  4. Unfortunately for us, Buzkashi is played later in spring, so we would be missing out on the experience.
  5. However...
  6. It is Friday, we are at the school playing games with the young students there
  7. When 4 beat 5 seater cars pull up next to the tiny building
  8. We are told to pile in. Literally. We had to fit 7 in the cars.
  9. Sitting on each other's laps, off we took.
  10. Our car was red, our driver was wearing a leather cap
  11. Every so often he would open the door to spit out, whilst driving full speed down a motorway
  12. We veer off the road into the desert
  13. The journey is 50km
  14. We fly around the car
  15. We have no AC and we can't open the windows because the sand will get in
  16. It is hot
  17. There are legitimate mirages?
  18. Eventually we see figures in the distance
  19. We pull up to find 100 men and 50 horses
  20. No women
  21. All men
  22. All the men are staring
  23. A group of largely white, obviously western high school kids, were probably not expected
  24. We get pulled up on a large trailer
  25. Primarily we are distracted by the sheep on the trailer
    It turns out the three sheep were actually 1st prize
  26. Then we look up, and see the game of Buzkashi
  27. It involves stuffing a dead goat for with over 60kg of salt
    Hence "goat polo"
  28. And hauling this onto the back of a motorbike
  29. The bike then drops it about 400 metres out, right by a herd of horses and riders
  30. These men then proceed to fight on their horses for the goat
  31. This requires picking it off the floor
  32. Tucking the EXTREMELY HEAVY goat under a leg
  33. Not letting anyone steal it
  34. Galloping fast towards the audience (where I am)
    At one point this got to close for comfort, everyone around me fled, and an Uzbek tried to pull me up onto his trailer
  35. And letting go with your leg, hoping the dead goat will land in the circle drawn in the grass
  36. There are no rules
  37. Apart from no collusion
  38. It was probably the most wild thing I have ever experienced, and I ever will, I assume.