Day 13 – 4th June, 2012 : Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Dushanbe, Tajikistan

It is 9 a.m. now.  I got up at 5.30 a.m. and washed my clothes which became very dirty due to dust yesterday while travelling.  Water was coming.  I took a nice shower too. Repacked the Rucksack and wanted to check sugar. I found that I had left pricker for taking blood at Khujand. It must have fallen down when I checked Sugar there.  Everything intact here and then finished writing also. Now I will go to internet Cafe and then to Indian Embassy.
12.00 noon:  I am now sitting in the Indian Embassy.  I exchanged $50 in the morning and went to the Internet Cafe.  Sent a mail to Mr. Mehta of Tashkent but was interested in sending e-mails. Then I took Bus No.2 and got down just in front of Indian Embassy at Bokaarn Road. Here I had to go through a security check and then reception. I met Mr. Verma HOC (Head of Chancellery) a nice Officer from Sonepat, Haryana. I explained my route and purpose.  He noted down and photocopied the passport and where I am staying. He asked me to wait so that I could meet the Ambassador. I was sitting at the reception. Then came the message Ambassador can’t see me as he is busy. I said I will come later if he was free. The security person from Delhi was good. We chatted at the exit. What was the point in asking every visitor keeping their mobile and bags at the entrance. All students of Hindi and Yoga and all visitors had to go this security check. In Dushanbe, I did not find even the shops having grill or shatter, only glass.  ATMs are kept outside. Mukesh told me of a restaurant just across the road which gives buffet lunch.  Thanked him and walked out across the road. Famula is a big restaurant with large sitting and pick and choose items of salad, bread, hot food, drinks, deserts etc. I took a bowl of soup, one mushroom and meat and one chicken roll, bread and tea, all for 25.5 Som. In fact I could not eat all.  After spending half an hour or so, I came out and now walked to the Rudyac Street which is the main street and the city centre. Some good buildings, I clicked some good pictures. I saw one Sardarji but on the other side of the road walking briskly. I could not match him. Then Farukh telephoned.  He asked me where I was, I stopped next to a school girl and requested her to speak to Farukh. She gave the directions to Farukh who told me to wait for him and he would join me in 10 minutes. He must have come after 15-20 minutes. Now we walked in the park and then outside of the President’s house.
Farukh’s brother had come from Russia yesterday and he has fallen sick.  Farukh has taken him to hospital in the morning that is why he could not come. We walked towards a small lake. I saw a young man and woman taking each ones photo. I told them to stand and took their picuture. The youngman was from India (Alwar) and he introduced the woman as his girl friend from Istanbul. He was studying medical and finished just yesterday, waiting to collect their degrees. There is a National flag of Tajikistan which is flying very high, large and very attractive. I compared their flags with the lone Indian flag at the Embassy, dirty and shabby. We walked and walked and walked. Farukh bought cold water. He did not agree to go to a restaurant where I was offering tea. Now slowly we walked back to Embassy. I took a picture of the flag.  Mukesh at the Entrace inquired from Mr. Verma that I had come and if the Ambassador had time. Now everyone is busy. I had taken Farukh with me and then told him that it was not possible to meet. I took Bus No.2 for Srik and Hotel Earhang and said good bye to Farukh. He had also given instructions how to go in the morning.
I got down at my Bus stand and decided to drink a cup of hot coffee from the same restaurant where I ate Burger yesterday.  I was drinking coffee when I saw two backpackers, one man and other woman walked into the restaurant.  hey were the first backpacker I had seen since Almaty. They were carrying lovely planet book. After coffee I went to them. They were doing reverse what I was doing. They were Australians. They gave some tips to me 1 US $ is 2800 Uzbek Som. Official rate is 1800.  Everyone gets from people standing outside. There are wards of notes if exchange $100. Then they gave us a rubber band for keeping these notes. Someone gave this band to him and now he does not need and I am getting it. Then I went to internet Cafe and spent three hours. I had written till today. I have written all days except three days in Bishkek and Issyk-kul.   
Now I came back to the Hotel after exchanging to US $.  I came to a nearby restaurant again selling Hamburger etc.  I ate one burger.  There is one dinosev model working. Children were greatly attracted.

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