Day 17 : 8th June,2012 – Tashkent Bukhara, Uzbekistan

I woke up late next morning and after a shower went down for breakfast, which was included in the room tariff. I was the only one in the dining hall and felt like a king when I saw the breakfast laid on a long table. It was more or less like Samarkand. There were different types of breads, boiled eggs, butter, cheese, salamis, fruits, and of course, tea and coffee. After breakfast I used my room’s telephone and fixed an appointment with Prof Dash at 1pm at University of Economics. Not only did he promise to meet me, he asked me to stay over for lunch as well. Then I called Alisher who arranged a taxi which would pick me up at 12.20 pm and take me to the University. I reached well in time and found Prof. Dash waiting for me. After picking up food from a nearby buffet restaurant, we talked at lengths on his views of the Uzbek region. He told me about his journey from being a director of the Russian Study Institute in Mumbai to being the ICCR Chair in this university. He even explained how only corruption is the reason of the two rates of money exchange. We returned to his room where I checked my mail and sent some replies. Prof Dash told me about how Uzbekistan wants to become a super power but faces disappointment due to lack of a industrial base. Though there was cotton worth 2 billion dollars being harvested on this land, there was no worthwhile textile mill. The problems were only worsened with the hard to solve border disputes. The trains did not go from one country to another thought tracks were laid very long ago. Prof Dash agreed to my observation that Uzbekistan was more prosperous of the four countries, Kirgiztan being the least. He even showed me through his window the original silk route. With my brain filled with new knowledge and understanding for the Uzbek culture, I thanked him for his hospitality and bade goodbye.
Diplomatic University, Tashkent
From there I decided to go to Chorsu bazaar by the metro.  I walked out of the university and asked a young man for directions to the metro. Though he did not speak English, he understood me. He signaled me to follow him and led me to the station. There he bought his ticket and mine as well, and waited as a policeman wanted to see my passport. He companied me right up to chorsu bazaar. Once we reached, he shook my hand and left. I was very moved, his action fortifying my purpose of travel.
Green Market, Tashkent
Green Market, Tashkent
Green Market, Tashkent
I walked to some parts of Chorsu Bazaar, the oldest part and a one time center of Tashkent. Like any other oriental Bazaar, Chorsu is spread over a large area. In one area, I talked to a woman who owned an Indian clothes shop for women. She frequented Delhi to bring these clothes and was well aware of Laxmi Nagar and Gandhi Nagar. I walked around some more and found that the Bazaar was not very crowded, probably due to the heat. Exhausted, I took a cab to the Institute. Once there I found Alisher who had booked a room for me at the Hotel Orom in Bukhara. It would cost 46 dollars for two days. With Alisher’s word of satisfaction, the deal seemed adequate. In a life of a tourist, these kind efforts by fellow unknown humans mean the world. When I was about to leave, Samiksha, the dance teacher, invited me to have dinner at her place before I left for the Railway Station.  I accepted her invitation and we had to leave right away. It was 6 p.m. already and I had to leave for the railway station by 7.30 p.m... After a short taxi ride to her apartment, I was introduced to her daughter, a young Uzbek girl, who was doing her household chores.  I was quickly served with tea and papads. Since it was a Friday, Samiksha was fasting and therefore after tea she went and did her pooja while the daal and vegetables got cooked. Meanwhile, a man from the agency which had booked my room in Bukhara came to give me the receipt. I paid him 31000 soms and on my return to the apartment, I found that dinner was served. I took spoonfuls of everything and quickly relished the meal with two chappaits. With nothing but praises for the food, I bid quick farewells as it was 7.30 already.  Before I got into a taxi, Samiksha touched my feet and I blessed her. The warm feeling stayed with me for a long time. 
Train from Tashkent to Bukhara
Bukharo Railway Station
I got to the railway station in 10 minutes, where I was told to go to the third building where my passport would be checked and my baggage would be x-rayed. After the formalities were through, I was directed to platform number 3, where the train would arrive. It was very crowded and the train arrived at 8.15 p.m. The boarding process was no less than war. With the huge crowd pushing and shoving each other, I managed to get to my compartment. By the time I reached birth number 23, I realized it was pretty warm inside the train. There was another man there and he offered to exchange his lower birth with my upper birth. I obliged and we were joined by two other girl. One of them was working at the Basra airport while the other worked at Hotel Raddus in Tashkent. At 8.45, the train rolled off the platform and the conductor distributed a set of linen to each birth. One of the girls spread her sheets and did the same for me.  The train was rugged but comfortable. It had a Samovar for hot water like all Russian trains. The linen was neat, clean, and well pressed. A long train. I have had good experiences of travelling in Russian trains. The longest was from Moscow to Beijing in 6 nights and 7 days. I even traveled From Moscow to St Petersburg. I remember seeing  50 or more bogey goods train when I was coming to Samarkand. There were at least 20 bogeys of Petrol and three big Diesel Engines. In Tashkent, there Railway museum by the side of road a few minutes before Railway Station. By 10 p.m., the A.C. had cooled the train down, and I went off to sleep. 

1 comment:

  1. I love the historical place in Tashkent where tourists from all over the world stays Tashkent is becoming metropolitan city. The tourist can access Tashkent through Uzbekistan airways and Turkish Airlines although there are so many airlines which brings international passengers in Tashkent.


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