Tashkent: A Proper City

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Sunday, October 19, 2014.

Seeing the many tree-lined streets and park fountains on a pleasant autumn Sunday, I start to form my initial thoughts on the sprawling capital city of Tashkent. Akmal drives me around town to give me an overview before I head out on foot.

“It’s huge,” I tell him, especially when comparing it to Almaty.

“Almaty is tiny,” he says. “This is a proper city.”

With a population of 2.3 million, Tashkent is Central Asia’s hub city, with the largest airport of the region, and many businesses in town. I’ll admit I had no idea this area, nor this city was as developed as it is.

“It feels very European,” I tell Akmal.

He chuckles. “That’s because of the weather today.” (It’s low 70°s F/19°C) “Usually it’s 40 degrees!”


A video posted by Erik (@theglobaltrip) on


Akmal and I stop in at the Central Asian Plov (pilaf) Centre, where different styles of plov are prepared in big kazans, and served to hundreds in a huge dining area.



Tashkent’s TV tower puts the Uzbekistani capital in the same league as Berlin, Seattle, and Toronto.



“I want to show you how the Uzbeks live,” Akmal tells me. Soon, he stops to pick up a hitchhiker who hailed his car down. I make out their conversation to be “Where ya going?”, a destination, and “Hop on in!”

The stranger gets in Akmal’s car and we take him about a mile away, in the direction we were going anyway. The guy gives Akmal 1000 som and goes on with his day.

“Anyone here can be a taxi,” Akmal tells me.

For lunch, we go to his former work lunch spot, Milliy Taomlar, which is a local chain with no brand consistency between locations. He orders his usual Norin — noodles with horse meat that you eat with your fingers, or with a spoon if you add it to broth. We also get a meat dish to share.


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This dispatch is one of over 70 travel dispatches from the trip grouped and titled, "The Global Trip: 'Stan By Me." It's an archived compilation of Instagram and Facebook posts which chronicled a trip through three countries in Central Asia: Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

Next entry:
Exploring Tashkent

Previous entry:
Make It Rain




THE GLOBAL TRIP GLOSSARY

Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.




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