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  • Day216

    Samarkand, du Schöne!!

    November 27, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ -1 °C

    Oh Samarkand! No name incites more the flavours of oriental fairy tales, the scent of spices, the rustling of silk and the glimmer of treasures in me than SAMARKAND.
    And what a pleasant surprise this city was from the moment I drove through the gate! Wide boulevards constructed during the UDSSR aera but without that Soviet union "flair". Clean, everywhere those broom ladies fighting the dropping autumn leaves, and, I can hardly believe it, the Drivers aren't by far as as pushy as in Dushanbe.
    But then of course there are the cultural highlights. The splendor of the Registan, the Bibi Khanym comlex and many mosques and many mausoleums more...... i was totally mesmerized. As you do or might not know I have this middle eastern thing going so this was right up my alley.
    As it was my luck, on Wednesday's they have a huge light show at the Registan, and I just happened to drop by on my evening walk with Rex. It was spoken in chinese, so I can only assume a chinese tour group ordered it as we others had to watch from further away but for free.
    Today I had to say good bye to SAMARKAND, but before leaving I had to get a health certificate for Rex before to enter those even more bureaucratic states of Turkmenistan and Iran.
    A little side note: I was there alresdy yesterday but found the opening hours to be from 8-11. So when I left I wanted to turn in that little alley. Alongside every road there is a ditch and i am quite panicky about those. And when doing my three point turn, pointing my noise towards the MIDDLE of the road, suddenly kabbummmm, I am in this ditch with me left front wheel. Right away there are two men and after putting in my 4WD they are pushing me out of trouble again. They told me they do this all the time because this ditch has broken in and now runs into the middle of the road. (Nobody thought of getting this repaired???) Piuhhh!!! Now I have sunk intro 2 ditches and broken through one canal lid.
    So I went to the veterinary services with Rex to get that certificate that he is healthy and all vaccinations are current.
    Thinking they will check the dog I take him with me. When entering the it doesn't look anything like a vet practice but more like an office. Two elderly men sitting on desks and a woman asks me for my concern. I tell her what I need. Nobody speaks English so google comes in handy. Long conversations ensue. Where do I come from, where do I go to, where did I live on Samarkand, when did I go where ... has Google translated googledigook again? What had this got to do with the health of my dog? In the meantime I am told my dog cannot be in the office. I thought you need to check his health?? No, only stamp. I mean this is fine buy me, but I need a certificate. Yes, wait for specialist
    So Rex and I are moved into a room that looked like a classroom and the not English speaking lady keeping me company. How exciting! And we are waiting and waiting. 1 1/2 hours later I am told I need to go to another town closer to the border, that's where I get my stamp. Really??? You needed that long to tell me that? But I have to swallow my frustration, he doesn't understand a word I am saying anyway.
    This inefficiency in these countries can be extremely frustrating. They have rules eg for us travelers, that nobody knows what to do with. In Tajikistan for instance you get a 45 day visa, your car however only 15 days. So you need to go and get this permit for the car extended, but not at 14 days and if it is later than 15 days you might get a fine. So you go to that office on the 15th day and they haven't got a clue what to do. Or are they waiting for some bakshish? Who knows.
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