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October 24, 2002
|More embassy visits! We toured the Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, and Georgian embassies of Tashkent. Quotes of the day: "Sure you can get an Iranian transit visa. I'll call them for you. Where are you from? Oh, America. Maybe you should call them." Then we asked if the Azerbaijan embassy was far away by taxi. "Not far. By taxi it's far. Taxi drivers love to take foreigners all over the city." The consulates here have been friendlier than usual. We obtained Pakistan and Georgian visas and both consulates went beyond the bounds of hospitality. The Pakistan consulate broke his schedule, interviewed us about our plans, lent advice, and gave us a pile of brochures. The Georgian consulate acted in a similar way and wrote down plenty of telephone contact numbers. After the embassies closed, we rode the Tashkent metro, each station a minor miracle of art. During the evening we wandered neighborhoods in the suburbs of town. People are extremely friendly and always willing to chat. Our Russian is conversational so long as we stick to the same conversation. "What's your name? What's your job? How many children do you have? How old are they?" We know all these little facts about the people on Marobov street.|
Uzbek villagers and people in Tashkent suburbs grow wine grapes over their sidewalks.
A self respecting refugee wouldn't stay in this hotel/suspected brothel. Of course we would because it's the cheapest place in town.
Mosquitos are free of charge so wear a head-net, sleep on the floor to avoid bed bugs.