Justins World

Uzbeks

Today we travelled from Samarkand to the capital, Tashkent. Mostly a deteriorating highway of ok quality. Although I did see roadworks in progress! I’m here for the weekend before the serious camping starts on Monday for 2 weeks in Kazakhstan and Kygyzstan.
I thought I’d share some interesting interactions with the locals. Several people have been asked for a photo. The Uzbeks didn’t want money, they actually wanted a photo with a foreigner and took it with their mobile phone! One guy has a beard which it seems the ladies like. Initially you look for the scam in it, but they are just curious people. There is no doubt that when the government is a bit more friendly this country will be full of tourists, like those seen in any country with history. But for now westerners are not common, although still a curiosity, and they’d are always happy to help.
They also adore both Tamerlane and Ulugbek. Probably more so than we would adore any Australian. It’s curious, because the country of Uzbekistan was created by the Russians. Before that the region was several khanates of Samarkand, Bukhara, Korezm etc. However the people of Uzbekistan share the cultural heritage of Tamerlane and Ulugbek.
I can definitely say I’m over looking at mosques though. They were all beautiful, but just like you can have too many churches in Europe, or too many antelopes in Africa, you can have too many blue tiled mosques in Uzbekistan.
I’ll do an update over the weekend from Tashkent, which may be the last for a while, unless some little village has Internet!

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