royally afraid

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Remember how excited I was to find out that Tajikistan was apparently dominated not by Coca-Cola and not by Pepsi, but by Royal Crown Cola?

I’m of course a Dr. Pepper guy, but I always appreciate the struggle of the underdog, so I was happy to see that RC is apparently launching a campaign into Uzbekistan now:

RC Cola conquering Uzbekistan?

Down with the Coke-drinking establishment, I say!

Oh, and then there’s the new 50.000 som bill, y’all:

new fifty thousand som note

You probably know by now that Uzbekistan is struggling with inflation – the money is worth less and less. This was new to me when I came into the country for the first time last December and was given a huge bag of 500 and 1000 som notes that were apparently only worth very little.

So when the government introduced new ten thousand som notes four months ago, I was very happy.

And today we got fifty thousand som! Hoorah! There’s a beautiful crane on the back, and I think the bill is worth about eight dollars:

new 50000 som note

Now imagine how many 500 som bills you would have to lug around if you wanted to buy a TV or a microwave oven…

Anyway, this moment of excitement was my best one today. The rest of the day I was biting my nails, because I felt nervous, I felt worried, I felt scared about what was ahead of me.

Bukhara was beautiful today:

last day in Bukhara

I went to a shop and bought a bunch of canned corn and canned beans in tomato sauce:

shop in Bukhara

Then I realized that I was running out of money, so I had a rather frugal dinner:

last dinner in Bukhara

But it was hard to do anything but think of the Turkmen desert that lay ahead. I was going to leave the city at 6:30 in the morning, then enter Turkmenistan two hours later.

And from then on, no connection to the outside world for 15 days.

Here’s my last selfie from Bukhara:

last selfie in Bukhara

I haven’t been this nervous in a long time.

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