A Wet Day in the Second City
Khujand Travel Blog› entry 34 of 83 › view all entries
Halim and I slept in until about 11am, finally waking up to cloudy skies and light rain. It was a slow and short morning and we didn't make it out to lunch until about 1:30, but at least I was showered and clean-shaven and happy about a change of clothes. We headed to Yunus, Halim's favorite cafe just down the street and had soup, plov and tea before taking a marshrutka downtown. After visiting several drugstores and the air ticket office, we went to the Panchshanbe Bazaar, Khojand's premier market. It was across a large square and two mosques. We walked up to the second level where we had an excellent view of the mosques and the outside tents below. The ceiling of the bazaar was also painted in bright colors, which seemed to be popular in northern Tajikistan.
Outside it was still raining as we crossed the large square and prepared to walk back towards Halim's apartment. On our way we passed several Soviet-style monuments and statues. Halim took me to a fairly new museum on the Soghd region, where we had to slip on denim booties and traipsed across the slippery marble to see the exhibits. Most of the museum was made of marble, including an entire room on the first floor (basement) that depicted scenes from Alexander the Great's battles.
By the time we left the museum, the rain had picked up.
Halim appeared from the kitchen with a syringe and a wild smile and said "drugs," but he was only joking. The syringe contained some oil that he planned to use to lubricate the squeaky door, a kind of Tajik WD-40. In the evening his brother, nephew and brother's mother in law came over. Halim cooked us a delicious dinner of pasta, meat and potatoes and with it we had some carrot salad, pickled green tomatoes and kimchi. The rest of the evening we just lounged around, recovering from the wet day, and watched satellite television before retiring early, still tired from the previous night's extravaganza.