90 minutes

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There were no marshrutkas in Navoyi. So I hopped on a shared ride and went back to Samarkand: It had taken me several days to walk to Navoiy from there, but it was only a 90-minute car ride. How easy. When I got there, I went straight to the post office: I had to show […]


avoid the sun

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When I left Ziadin in the morning, I saw a lot of people on the road: Most were waiting for rides: There were young women with parasols: And old ladies in colorful outfits: And there were European campers, a lot of them. Sometimes it was just motor home after motor home. Some of the drivers […]


weld grind burn

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So I went back to the road, tripod or not. It took a while to get back to Mirbazar, after all it was more than 100km from Samarkand. I took a cab, and on the way there I slept. When I looked out the window once, I saw rain outside. And then I was in […]


what weekdays mean

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Sometimes, when I am on the road, I lose track of which day of the week it is. Dates are somewhat important to me, mostly because of my visa issues, but weekdays just don’t seem to have a lot of meaning. Today I decided to stay in Samarkand, because I wanted to pick something up […]


night train

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Walked into this charming gentleman at the hostel where I was staying: We introduced ourselves and then talked for quite a long time, so long in fact that when I realized that I had forgotten his name it seemed somehow impolite to ask. He was from Germany, he traveled solo, and his beard was much […]


refusal to steam

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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 […]


numismatics

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Back to Tashkent. I regretted buying plane tickets. There is a train from Tashkent to Almaty and back, a train which I should have taken. Better for the environment. Better for me. More stuff to see out of the window. Sometimes I am just baffled by my own ignorance. Anyway, here I was, with my […]


buffer day

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I had come to Almaty to get my new Uzbek visa, and that was it. But before, when I was still in Germany, and I didn’t know yet how long it was going to take, I had left an extra day before my flight back, just in case things didn’t go as planned. That day […]


another great success

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Today, after three hours of waiting and paying fees in different places like I had before in Bishkek last November and in Almaty this January, I finally got my new Uzbek visa: Considering that the last one I had gotten in Germany had only been granted for a mere 17 days, I felt very relieved […]


no work on workers day

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I had come to Almaty to get my next Uzbek visa, so I went to the Uzbek embassy right away. I knew where it was, because I had been there before in January with my brother Ruben. So I walked around a little: I noticed that there were decorations for Workers’ Day up in some […]


tragic satsivi

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I left Tashkent on a sunny afternoon: …and landed in Almaty on a cloudy evening: (The above picture is the stadium that I had seen when it was still under construction more than a half year ago.) When I went out to get something to eat, it felt as if Almaty had not changed at […]


rail transport

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My Uzbek visa was about to run out in two days. So the night before I had left the Caboose with Firuza in Mirbazar and taken a cab back to Samarkand. And now I was to return to Tashkent by train and then Almaty by plane to get a new visa there. Today was about […]


our photos

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When I got back to the restaurant where the Caboose had spent the night, the first thing we all did was take photos together: Lots and lots of photos: And because everyone felt sorry that I hadn’t been able to spend the night there, I got treated to a very nice breakfast of chicken tabaka: […]


little dudes and eggs and soap

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Juma having no hotel and Uzbekistan having a rule that foreigners had to stay in hotels in order to register could mean only one thing: I had parked the Caboose overnight, hopped in a car back to Samarkand, slept there and then taken a taxi back to Juma in the morning. It was all very […]


green again

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Loaded up the Caboose in the morning, and she was ready to go: I had added some reflective tape for extra visibility in the dark: And then we were on our way. Finally. After more than three months! Samarkand was looking her finest: We walked past traffic: And more traffic: One time there was an […]


wrap it up

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Feeling that my work was done, I sat down in the warm morning sun and read some Eco: All was well in Samarkand. But when I went to check on the Caboose, I discovered something terrible: The paint was no good. Fuck, I thought. Fuggidifuckfuckfuck. I went and bought a scraper: Samarkand was looking extra […]


second coat

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The paint had basically dried overnight, so I went and took the Caboose home to the place where I was staying, upon which I decided that she needed an additional coat of paint. It was a beautiful day out: I walked around under the blue sky and bought some more of the paint we had […]


flat matt

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When morning dawned, it was time to look the truth in the eye: I had failed. The Caboose was still very rusty. I was told to get diesel oil to get rid of the rust, so I ventured outside with a glass jar, trying to find diesel oil: In the end a taxi driver knew […]


red hair in a black box

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So the Caboose was still healthy: But she was dirty: And she was rusty: So I figured I had to clean her: I’d gotten two sponges and a bottle of fanta: When I was done I didn’t exactly feel happy with the results. But I decided to go visit Tamerlan’s grave anyway, for I had […]


…and my chair

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I arrived in Samarkand early in the morning, and the first thing I did was check on the Caboose: Then I went to sleep in a calm and dark room of the hostel where I was staying: And then, in the late afternoon, I took a little walk around town. Samarkand was so much prettier […]