Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 151 (Uzbekistan): rest day in Tashkent II (rumble in Tashkent)

What a day of rest it was - NOT. I had been told by the Chinese embassy that I should have a flight ticket to China in order to apply for my visa here in Tashkent. And that I also couldn’t apply if I was on a bike … that I would have to do this in Bishkek/Kyrgyzstan. I have no plans to go there really. After hearing how to get a visa here anyway, I am setting out to do what I need to do. This includes, among other things, a hotel reservation in China for some days. Markus tries to do this, but all the internet cafes do not support a secure line and so I am drawing a blank here. All the while the Chinese embassy was about to close and had they told me the right information yesterday, I could have taken care of this before. Darn.

Eventually I get to a place which lets me use my own USB key with a new browser on it and soon enough I am all sorted. I scream back to the embassy with a female cab driver wearing a hijab (bit of anomaly here - both that is) only to find out that the embassy sees it fit to close an hour early. What a bunch of … there will be another day for this.

For lunch I met up with Ravshan, a great person whom I had the good fortune to meet some years ago. He works as a translator and is hands down the best I ever saw. It was great to see him again after such a long time and we headed for lunch in a restaurant with his family. Then, rumble, rumble … a good size earthquake hit Tashkent just as we had sat down to eat. Nothing happened and the boogeying wasn’t as much as you may think. From what I hear, it was a 6+ on the Richter scale and there were no reports of any casualties or damage.

Later on that day I met up with Dinara, another good friend from a previous seminar here in Uzbekistan and who happens to get married in about a week from now (they are doing as she puts it a “democratic wedding” and will kill me for putting this into the blog I know). She is also gracious enough to invite me to her wedding and I happily accepted, meaning that I will be coming back to Tashkent (which I have to do anyway for visa reasons).

Great day, great people … what more could you want? A visa maybe …


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