Really excited to finally be headed for Samakand, woke up at 5:30am, before my alarm and couldn’t sleep ay longer. My current interest in these old Silk Road cities was kindled about 8 years ago when I randomly stumbled across a photo of the Registan and wondered what and where and who and how.
Checked out of Hotel Uzbekistan, got required stamps and papers to move on, got a lift from hell with the hotel driver and found my seat on the train.
The bullet train is air conditioned, this old Russian express… not so much. Old uninsulated metal train rolling across the plain in 35c heat, this may be as hot and uncomfortable as I have ever been, some of the Uzbek men are taking off their shirts, it is insanely hot in here.
A few hours into the trip at one smalltown stop one of the Uzbek ladies succommed to the heat and threw up beside the train, the guy next to me gave her some of his water and she seemed to perk up a bit but she decided that she needed my seat, not sure why and it took a lot of gesturing to figure out that she wanted to swap seats, fine with me, glad to help.
A while later a new passenger got on and had two big thermos jugs of cold water which he sold in cups for 1000 som (25 cents), I didn’t care about shared cups or where the water came from or anything at this point, sweet nectar of life.
Home Sweet Home
Sharing my guest house with a couple German female Dermots:
Checked in and realized I haven’t eaten since the meh lamb 20 hours earlier and was starving. Headed out into the Samarkand heat and found a little unmarked place, a woman waved me in and sat me down, a few minutes later she sat down water and salad and a ton of roast chicken, nothing better than roast chicken when you are really famished, awesome. Really nice lady too, no english but happy to make fun of my lack of uzbek or russian or spanish or french or german….
Walking around after lunch I saw more and more people with ice cream, tracked down the source like a wandering ant, impressive thick and heavy soft ice cream.