Back in Bukhara for Beers

Bukhara, Uzbekistan, on Thursday, October 23, 2014.

Back in Bukhara, a fisherman tries his luck at the pool of Lyabi-Hauz, across from the Nadir Divanbegi Khanaka.


“You’re exactly where I left you!” I told the Aussie couple Alyssa and Mark by the town square, Lyabi-Hauz. Four hours prior, I had run into them — before I rented the bike to ride the countryside — at basically the same spot, and I was reunited with them. This time however, I was caked in mud.

Their time away from me wasn’t as messy; they just spent hours trying to find a way to withdraw cash. (I had been advised to carry a lot of cash with me on this trip, as ATMs aren’t exactly reliable.)

“I want to take a picture of your beer,” I requested of Alyssa. “For the irony.” Alcohol with a building of Islam in the back. That said, we all had come to realize that Uzbekistan is very light on the Muslim rules (except for maybe possession of pornography at a border crossing). In fact, officially by the written charter of the country, Uzbekistan is proclaimed a secular nation.

We sat for beers at Lyabi-Hauz and had the usual travel talk, which led to dinner at their hotel. If not for the set menu that Alyssa and Mark had pre-ordered, I would have gotten the Bukharan fried beef dish called “jiz” — you know, for the #travelpun: jiz would have been in my mouth.

We had a bottle of wine, followed by a nightcap of brandy. One of those nights. When I walked back to my own hotel, it was relatively late (11:30ish) in this sleepy town in the off-season, and I had been locked out. I had to bang the door a while before the manager, Akbar, had to let me in.


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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:
Taxiing Through The Desert

Previous entry:
Lost Out of Bukhara


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.

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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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