Woke up and brushed my teeth next to the road:
You can see the border to Uzbekistan right be hind me.
Then I changed some Uzbek money and got this ridiculously large wad of cash:
Inflation is the name of the game.
Had some cookies and some ice-tea, watched some “Modern Family” on my phone in my room. And waited.
I was waiting for these guys:
I had found them last night through the owner of the guesthouse where I was staying. They had taken the Caboose away and fixed her:
Fixed her in more than one place actually:
We took a selfie:
Then I loaded up the Caboose:
And took another selfie with the dudes from the guesthouse:
Then I went to the border.
I was a bit worried, but what could I do? There was only one way to go: forward.
A lady helped me fill out my customs form for a bit of money:
Then I went through the border. Had to show my passport a dozen times to a dozen different people. Had to unload the Caboose completely and put everything that was in her through an x-ray machine. Had three friendly Uzbek border guards help me lift the Caboose over a fence when she was too fat to fit any other way. And then I was through.
I stepped out on the road, passed some people who were surprised that I didn’t want a cab.
Then I knelt down on Uzbek ground. I figured if the Pope could do it, so could I.
The road was quiet and clean:
There were lots of liquor stores…
…some fast food stands…
…and some pretty houses:
I kept to the side of the road, hoping that the Caboose would hold up with her new welding job:
And then I reached Tashkent:
It felt surreal.
I had seen this place name on the map so many times. It had always seemed so far away. And now I was here!
I liked this green car:
And this girl looking out at the traffic:
I was tempted to walk all the way to the hotel and deprive myself of dinner (and lunch, actually) until then. But then I decided to take it easy and have some food in a self-service restaurant instead:
At one point there was a monument next to the road:
And I was surprised when I noticed that the inscription was in English:
MAY THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN FOR FREEDOM…
Probably about World War II.
Some of the buildings had nice mosaics on them:
When night fell, I was still walking:
Tashkent was bigger than Almaty or Astana, and a lot bigger than Shymkent.
I wasn’t sure if this was an advertisement for a 4G mobile plan or something entirely different:
What I did notice was A LOT of Pepsi ads though:
They were all over the city:
Does this mean that people in Tashkent love Pepsi? I thought.
Or does it mean the opposite, that they don’t love Pepsi enough?
At some point I left the main roads and turned into a quiet neighborhood to look for my hotel:
And when I found it, I took my first shower in four days.
Then I crashed on the bed.