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Khiva Travel Blog

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I should have kept my big ‘A’ with me. We drove past a town called ‘Bogot’ and I could have pretended that I was in Colombia instead of Central Asia but I haven’t been disappointed with Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan has really grown on since my arrival, or maybe that is because the puddle of sweat that has been dripping off me due to the heat has meant mould is forming on my body. It has been very hot here - it’s over 50 degrees and I think my eyeballs have been sweating, although from all reports my next destination of Turkmenistan is going to be hotter. Oh boy, I can’t wait!

As I mentioned I have grown fond of Uzbekistan and it’s people. The drive around the country has meant encounters with locals and their shiny teeth. Uzbek people seem to have a fascination with gold teeth, or perhaps I have the fascination? It seems that the majority of women (and lots of men) have gold teeth. I’m not talking about just one or two teeth, but the whole mouth is metallic, something which harks back to the Soviet times. Nowadays it appears to be on the decrease, but still I have seen several teenage girls walking around proudly baring their smiles to all. It’s called fashionable, but since I have no fashion sense, I could not possibly comment.

Another noticeable feature about some of the Uzbekistan people is that some have flat heads. This comes from when they are babies placed in cribs for hours at a time to sleep, as the crib is made with a hole in the middle, there is a pot put into this gap and a contraption (for use of a better term) is affixed to the infant so when they urinate, it travels down the tube into the ‘kiddy litter’. Now we know about turning the child’s head as the scalp is soft during development, but for several youths and adults, it would appear this was not known about years ago in Uzbekistan.

Hotels have been of a good standard, although in Bukhara we had a room in the best hotel I never got to sleep in. Sounds crazy but we were booked in a hotel for two nights and because the transformer on the street had blown, there was no electricity at all and we had to shift for the evenings; during the day in the lovely and tranquil Shalom Inn and in the evening in another hotel.

However, one thing the hotels seem to do around this part of the world is make you make your own bed. The top sheet is provided for you nicely folded up on top of the bed at the foot of the bed, ready for you to make. Often this is too much admin for me at the end of the day and I just collapse in my sleep sheet on top of the bed and the nicely folded sheet only to wake up in the morning with an unfolded sheet wound up around my head.

Agriculturally Uzbekistan’s main crops are wheat, watermelon, cotton and rice. There are numerous cotton fields and rice paddies littering the countryside. It is quite strange to see these sorts of crops as I hadn’t expected to find them here, but the weather seems to lend itself well for them, but the watermelon …. Oh how I love this place.

But it is the people that will leave a lasting impression on me. The workers in the fields waving as we drive by, the people smiling eagerly for a photo and the children practicing their English. If this is what the Stans are like, I say bring on Turkmenistan, even though I’ve heard reports the temperature has reached in the 70s but then who needs dry clothes and eyeballs anyway?

Hayr from Uzbekistan
Saskia007 says:
They certainly are the most tastyish (is that English?) watermelons I have ever eaten. But my question is ... where is CIS?
Posted on: Oct 10, 2010
chrisgarty says:
From Wikipedia: "Uzbek melons, known for their long life and unique taste, are widely sought after in the large cities of the CIS."
Apparently the melons of Uzbekistan are in high demand :)
Posted on: Jul 14, 2010
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