I thought I should let you know that I'm booked for not one, but two Uzbekistan Airlines flights. The first is internal from Urgench to Tashkent. Then I'm flying from Tashkent to Istanbul. Both tickets are old-style, hand written and with a bunch of carbon copied pages.
Another day, another bribe. I got to the train station in Tashkent this morning just as the train was leaving for Samarkand. The guy on the train motioned to me that there's no time to buy a ticket just get on the train. It just started moving as I was stepping on. Once I got on he had me wait as he discussed with a few other guys. Then he came to me and asked for $10. I gave him 8 and that was ok. Never saw a ticket but I'm here in Samarkand now.
Samarkand is amazing. The mosques are so beautiful and the city feels unlike any place I've ever been. It was worth the wait for the visa. I'll be here another day then it's off to Bukhara for 3 and Khiva for 2 before I return to Tashkent for a day.
I bought another camera in Almaty the day after I lost the other one. There was no way of getting it back since it was in the back seat of a private cab. He was not affiliated with any company so I could never trace that guy down again. Well it turned out fine because the insurance company paid for the replacement. Not only that but things here are priced in American dollars, with the local currency's equivalent. I got a good deal on the camera. I've been using my Canadian dollar account on this trip. Just before getting to Kazakhstan the Canadian dollar surpassed the American. A Canadian dollar is now worth about $1.02 USD. Just a few years ago it was at $0.65.
Anyway, I can't wait to post pictures of Uzbekistan. It's a really cool place so far and I haven't been to Bukhara and Khiva yet. They're supposed to be really cool too.
I've been on your blog a couple of times. Looks like you had a really good time in Portugal. I just found out yesterday that my friends who live in Kyiv were there at the same time as you. They really loved it and are telling everyone to go.
Anyway, gotta go. The internet cafe is closing.
Yeah, you can post whatever you want on the blog (as long as you don't spread false rumours about me). I'm thankful I don't really have any yen left. THe only thing will me my pension money, whenever that comes in. Well, I thought Samarkand was amazing...I liked Bukhara even more. And I love the people here. They're very kind, polite but also very outgoing and fun to talk to. THe food is great too.I'll be posting lots of pictures, don't worry. I'm just as excited to post them as you are to see them. But it'll have to wait a while. I'll miss my flight four days from today if I start posting them now. The internet connections suck in Uzbekistan. I'm lucky I found this place but it's quite a walk from the city centre where I'm staying. I'll probably post them from my friends' place in Ukraine. I'm going to Khiva tomorrow morning and looking forward to it.I hope Oita's treating you well.
I loved all this. It's so what I think Uzbekistan and other countries alike are.
But, yes, the Istanbul flight was packed, although 9 hours late, Peter later told me!