Central Asia, Land of Broken Hearts

Trip Start Sep 04, 2003
Trip End Dec 20, 2003

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Flag of Uzbekistan  ,
Thursday, November 6, 2003

Central Asia, Land of Broken Hearts... doesn't that sound like a smashingly successful new tourism slogan? Yeah, I didn't think so. ;-) Anna, Karen and I had joked in Samarkand and Bukhara about how the only people who seem to get into this field in the first place are either running from a broken heart, suffering a broken heart as a result of being in the field, trying to fill a void with research and field work, have nothing to lose, have everything to gain, or any combination of the above (Anna being the only exception I know of). Plus, we're also all just a little nuts. We reaffirmed this theory when Karen visited Tashkent last weekend (it was actually a very fun weekend, not a depressing one, although it might sound like it ;-). We also reaffirmed our realization of how small and interconnected the field is... we started playing Six Degrees of Central Asia in Bukhara after toasting Stoddard and Connelly (whose fine traditions we are trying not to continue) and it was pretty scary. It was even scarier when Anna, Karen, Rahima and I had dinner with Ron and Stacy, two other Central Asian Scholars whom Anna knows from the Indiana University Uzbek language program-- turns out that Karen and Ron know each other, but didn't realize it until we all met at the Indian Restaurant. We shuddered as we added another branch to our little 6 degrees map. ;-) But at least this broken heart theory makes sense to my Uzbek friends (at least, it does after a little red wine)-- they already think we're crazy for being here (and look at me a little funny when I agree with them), but now there's something to back that up... unless, of course, it's completely wrong... I'm starting to ramble, so I'm just going to post the pictures of friends and miscellaneous pictures of Tashkent.
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