The next country I wanted to walk through was Turkmenistan. I didn’t know much about it, except that there were fast horses and beautiful carpets. And there was another thing that I knew: with the Caspian Sea to the West of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan to its East, there was no way around it.
Alas, I had been rejected for a tourist visa two times!
Two applications, two rejections.
So today I figured I would pay the Turkmen embassy a visit and say… do what exactly? I didn’t know that yet. But I went outside anyway, looking for the embassy:
Tashkent was showing its international side:
Green and friendly:
When I arrived at the embassy, I was stunned:
It reminded me of the White House.
But the guards told me it was closed today. And tomorrow, because tomorrow was Saturday, which was the weekend. And on Monday and Tuesday, because that was Victory Day. Victory Day? Well, Nazi Germany had declared surrender on the 8th and the 9th of May in 1945, a great day for a victory celebration.
Okay, so no direct talks with the Turkmen today:
I walked past the embassy of the Republic of Korea (also known as South Korea), and it looked quite different from that of Turkmenistan:
Then I figured maybe the German embassy in Tashkent might be able to help. It was located in a nice park, and I felt very good about my idea to ask them for help: After all, they were my guys, right?
Wrong. I went there alright, they were working alright, I talked to two people and sent an email alright, but the only reply I got was: nein, they were unable to help with Turkmen issues. Entschuldigung.
I realized that I was hopelessly naive, so I went and comforted myself with some plov:
That night, I went to a bar. A real bar. I remember looking for places to have a drink in Tashkent last time I was there in winter, but it always seemed as though the options were extremely limited. There was the airport bar, and an Irish pub, and some club that seemed to be always closed.
Anyway, after my visa disappointment I figured that my day could not get any worse, so I got into the metro:
I have always liked metro systems and how they look a little different in every city:
When I got to the bar, it didn’t look like much:
But the inside was very interesting:
It was called “Steam Bar” for a reason:
It was a bar with a Steam Punk theme!
Someone had opened it a few weeks ago and decided that it should be an ubercool place with that was all about dark colors and retro-futurism:
It even had a live band:
And it was a good band, too. They did all kinds of English and Russian covers. Here is one:
Isn’t absolutely all of this totally awesome?