Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sunday, October 09, 2011

3 Stans in 1 day

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:42 PM
Someone said the Lenin's statue was still here in Khujand. Most other ex-soviet cities had taken down Lenin's statues since they'd acquired independence. So we drove to see the monument. To our surprise, the statue wasnt of Lenin. Huh, where did it go and whose statue was it? Finally our young local guide told us they moved Lenin's statue to the museum and put up this one of Timur-Malik. The murals at the monument had very beautiful mosaic. I didnt want to leave Tajikistan yet. I havent seen much of the country. Have to come back some other time. We did our 1 hour drive on smooth roads again to the border of Uzbek. Getting out of Tajis was of course again no hassle. But this time we had to fill out 3 Uzbek custom forms. Two to enter the country. Must be identical. And 1 to exit and must declare less money than the first two. And this was it. This was the last time we'd have to fill out those blasted bloody forms! We had to wait at the Uzbek passport control for the agent was having a coffee break. When he came back on duty, the computer broke down and they had to bring in another terminal. Meanwhile, the locals were cutting in like mad. So we formed a human wall to block them out. Once back in Uzbek, we drove to Tashkent for a bit more sightseeing. Ottabek took us to take a 1 station ride on the metro because someone mentioned their metro stations were nicely decorated like the ones in Moscow. I didnt find the station terribly attractive. Then we walked by the Romanov's summer residence. Didnt know they had a residence here. Then we went to the airport to have our dinner. Who would know the food at the airport restaurant was so good. However, soon after I finished eating, my tummy started to cramp and the runs started. Early on the trip, one by one of us got struck down by a mysterious tummy bacteria. Every morning someone announced they're sick. It could be the local bad salty water, but I was careful not eat anything uncooked and we even used bottle water to brush our teeth. I took 2 imodiums but I was miserable on the short flight to Kazakhstan. I even timed the cramps. It comes in every 10 minutes or so, in 3 waves. I doubled over every time they came. I've never experienced anything like it. They were sharp and painful. But at least this time we flew on a jet plane, our flight being international. Once in Almaty, the weather got a lot colder. Our very pretty blonde slavic looking local guide was there to meet us. So in 1 day we went to Tajis to Uzbek to Kazak. 3 stans in 1 day! As soon as we arrived at the hotel Otrar, I went to the bathroom in my room and spent a good half hour at the toilet. The bathroom was very small but it had a heated rack, and it made the room warm and cozy. Jonathan brought me some electrolyte pills. Like he said, after the Silk Road cities, everything was downhill from now on.

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