School and Bukhara
Trip Start Jan 15, 2005
52Trip End Apr 27, 2006
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This weekend, 16 of us went to Bukhara. It was a 12 hour train trip there. We were broken down into groups of 4 so that we wouldn't stand out so much. Well, we got to the trainstation in Bukhara and then got a taxi to our hotel which peace corps had set up for us. Back home my mom had said that when she visits me here, she would like to stay in a bed and breakfast. Well, that became a joke in my familyl. What the heck is my mother thinking!! I joked about that in the taxi (sorry mom) on the way to the hotel. Hmm... can't find the hotel. Hmm... this english speaking man that we just found has a nice place to stay in the old town. Hmm... what would peace corps say. So, we called peace corps made sure we could stay there and then, lo and behold!! It was a bed and breakfast!! too funny!! Then, we got a phone call at the hotel. It was a peace corps volunteer living in bukhara. We made plans to meet him and he took us around the old town. I was able to see the Minaret. (I just know I spelled that wrong) and many of the old buildings. The Minaret was there when ghenghis khan came through this area. He destroyed everything in the town except for that. Now all the old buildings are places to sell stuff to the tourists. Bargain! You have to bargain. I walked into one place and found something I liked and she told me $15 dollars, what you pay? I said 8. She said no $12 I said $8 no 12. So, I walked out. She came running after me!! Okay, $10. Okay. so, I bought it. There is a man here who sells nearly every spice you can think of. I had seen pictures of him before. Now, I have my own picture of him. His shop is just a window. but it smells wonderful! I bought some spice choi (tea) yum! And right across from him a place to get fur hats. But, when you walk into the back room there are all these beautiful handmade rugs!! Bargain bargain bargain!! He is willing to give us (the peace corps volunteers) the rugs and then we can pay later. good to know!! Very nice people. Really!
Food. Food is pretty bland here. Personally, I really like a lot of the food. The national dish is osh. Rice, carrots, some pieces of meat and sometimes raisons. Wonderful! An atkins diet would not work here because all we eat are carbs. Rice, potatos, bread! They love there bread. It is called non. You can not place the bread upside down on the table. That is disrespectful to the bread. You can not waste any of the bread. I don't know what my family does with the tiny pieces. generally, they are not thrown away. And shashlik! Love shaslik. It is like a shiskabob.
We have a lot of soups here. Usually with potatos and carrots. All of the food is made with cottonseed oil. If your stomach has handled it this far, you should be okay. I should be okay.
One of my taxis was pulled over for nearly hitting a car. (center line? what center line? Really, they often cross that center line. we call the front passenenger seat the death seat.) We were not asked a single question because they only wanted to give him a ticket. I have never been in a taxi when it was pulled over before.
Oh! and I completely understand that americans are the best joke of the day. I have small pictures of some of my friends that I carry around with me. When I think of it, I put their pictures in front of something that seems very Uzbek and take their picture. I know, I am a freak. I did that at the hotel. as soon as I snapped the picture, I heard giggling and turned around and there was a boy and a worker of the hotel (b&b) laughing at me. I showed them what I had in my hand and they just shook their head.
Oh! we should not shake water off of our hands after we wash them. Water is precious here and shaking it off disrespects it and invites bad luck.