Saturday, July 12, 2003

Uzbekistan - Bags of cash

I am finally in Uzbekistan! And I conned Jim into coming with me, even though he thinks it was his idea. Things started more than dandy when we were bumped into Business Class from London to Moscow, sweet! Hung around Moscow with a interesting Scot and then got back to earth with a bump in Russian Cattle Class to Tashkent. Moderate bedlam in the airport but survived. I now realise that pushing, shoving, screaming, and loads of big stripy bags all taped up are actually the norm over the world, it is just us crazy westerns who are weird standing calmly in line.

I think I am getting old; didn't battle with the taximafia at the airport, I had someone pick us up, take us to our aircon room and was served a major Uzbek breakfast all before 7:30am. Felt weird not being a total scumbag but the effect hasn't worn off yet.

After wandering the gigantic streets, jumping the ankle eating gutters, we found the bank and proceeded to musical offices only to be presented with PILES and PILES of som. Another office juggle to try and get it into bigger notes. Laugh of the day when Jim jokes everyone must carry their change in black plastic bags, then we looked around and found everyone DID have black plastic bags of briefcase proportions full of the stuff. One old dear even wanted us to do a black market trade, while in the bank!

Anyway, we need sleep and I have to get my bulging pockets home. It will soon be stinking hot, back to the aircon me thinks.

Can't wait to tell you more!

My array of Som

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