|Uzbekistan||Tashkent||2002.09.11 - 09.12|
Not always, but often a country's capital city and its embassies abroad are representative of its government. Tashkent feels like one of these cities. The city is a sprawling mass of neglected discontinuity. Newly erected buildings are out of place in the cracking concrete landscape molded in the Soviet days. Police stop anyone and everyone, checking identification. License plate numbers of passing vehicles are recorded. The government seems to be genuinely concerned about threats to its existence. The focus is on control, not the improvement of life. Tashkent has no charm, no energy, no outlook, no mission. Maybe the government has a goal. If so, the people seem not to have been consulted. Had they been, a positive spirit would be felt instead of the current drab monotony of existence. Unless you are forced to overnight in Tashkent because of a flight, this is a good city to skip.
When we arrived to Tashkent by taxi from Samarkand, finding a budget hotel was a chore. Most of the budget hotels listed in guidebooks (English and Japanese alike) are gutted. After going to 2 closed hotels, we settled for a disgusting dump because it was in operation and we were in no mood to continue to look. Besides, we are only here for one night. In the morning we fly to Istanbul.
Copyright © 2000-2002 Wes and Masami Heiser. All rights reserved.