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Tashkent Teaser

Wednesday, June 25th, 2003

Jeez, I’m so far behind. If I had a schedule, I wouldn’t even be ON it. I’m going to do my best to finish the Ireland crap and move on to, and finish the Tashkent MWR trip before I head out again at the end of July. I’m going to Hungary with some friends.

So anyways, a couple of the highlights forthcoming, post-Ireland….posts. Hmmm….

In no particular order, of course:

  • Drunk again, but not as much!
  • My Encounter with the Secret Police
  • Matrix 2 in Russian
  • The Park Named for Alisher Navoi
  • How I Kicked Amir Timur’s Ass
  • A Day At The Bazaar
  • Some Flexible Guy Sticks Sharp Objects in Himself A Lot
  • Oh, You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
  • Bad Luck with Digital Cameras, and You
  • There’s Nothing Quite Like Finding Money Tucked In Your Shorts

2 Weeks ’til Ireland

Monday, March 24th, 2003

…and boy, do I need to get out of here. It’s affecting my mind — of course one never can be sure with someone like me. (sigh Embarassed )

So I’m not sure if I am flying on the planelet to Tashkent or if the new bus service will be active by then. To be honest, the thought of a 7ish hour bus ride does not appeal to me. It also could potentially mess with my fuckoff time in Tashkent, both going up and coming back. I’ll definitely be motivated to get out of here, but if I get bumped on the way back maybe I don’t mind so much. Overpriced Sheraton aside, of course.

Here in a nutshell is my basic plan. I’m flying out of Tashkent the 10th to Dublin via Frankfurt. 3 nights in Dublin, wandering around, and then head down to the Dingle Peninsula. I don’t expect them to have berries, as it is reputed to be beautiful down there. Among other things, they have a friendly dolphin you can swim with. Yaay! Dolphins are cool. Hey! This is a great time for me to go back to something else, not really changing the subject per se, but switching gears a lil’ bit, as I like to do. (more…)

Field Trip!

Monday, March 17th, 2003

So day before yesterday I’m hiding out in my office. It’s the 4th day in a row that I have actually been busy. I go about 3 months filling up my day working and working (on the internet) and working (visiting) and working (wandering) and it’s like all of a sudden people realize they have computers and problems and an IT guy. Hey! A match made in heaven! Of course, as always it was all silly stuff, but that didn’t stop me having to move back and forth across camp all day long. It is a definite change to go from “I make myself busy doing things” to “I am very busy, how am I going to work in those other things?”

Quick side trip here: I do more before 9 AM than you do ALL DAY! That’s because, you know, your 9 AM is my 9 PM. Ha. Sigh…this is a tough audience.

Anyways, earlier in the day I had been conversing with some folk, and we talked about getting off base, even if there isn’t much to see. Even if there isn’t much to see, there aren’t endless seas of tents and this crappy rock surface to see. That works. So later a party unrelated to that conversation pops his head in the door and mentions going to the airport, do I wanna go? Can I get a Hell Yeah? Oh well, I don’t even know if Steve Austin still wrestles anymore. (more…)

Some interesting coincidences…

Sunday, February 2nd, 2003

I half expected to see someone I knew here in some way or another. I figured it’d be somebody I’d recognized but didn’t know all that well. I’ve been off active duty about 10 years. Imagine my surprise when I run into one of my old roommates! The funny thing is that we don’t work in similar fields, have like schedules, or anything of the sort but I run into Larry probably every other day now. He is a reservist and will be rotating out sometime soon. Given the situation, I wonder how long it might be before he gets called back up. Guard and Reserve – that weekend a month and two weeks a year don’t seem like much, but if you get called up it can really impact your life. Actually, the other can still be a pain in the ass too, but it’s a comparison thing. Smile (more…)


Friday, January 24th, 2003

I remembered some other things about housing that I found interesting. In Tashkent I think the majority of people live in the massive apartment buildings. I didn’t see anything that approximated your typical (or even non-typical) stand-alone American type houses. Even so, there hasn’t been money to build things in general, so what they had 10 years ago when the Russians left is what they have today. Now that isn’t totally true, but it gets the idea in your head.

Aside from these buildings, you have many (usually single story) structures lined up against the streets. Long lengths of unbroken wall, with a singe gate that leads into a compound, and hovels or shacks clustered around open courtyards. Looking at them, I can only think of this as a defensible block. The wall has no windows or openings other than that gate. Imagine an old Western fort on the plains, but it’s only a single story, and it’s dingy white bricks instead of wood. It’s hard to get much detail on the interiors, since of course you can’t in general see them, but that’s very much the sense I got from the glimpses I did have. Some of that I was able to tell from flying into and out of Tashkent, getting the aerial view made a big difference.

Out in Karshi, didn’t see any apartment buildings at all, though we skirted the city. There were scattered groups of structures. Imagine your typical American red barn, but smaller. Paint it dingy white (let’s call it concrete!) and beat it up a bit. Now a bit more. Knock some holes in the walls, and figure people are living in the bottom area. These are grouped as well, but not so much in the fortress style, though you can still see the influence.

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