After breakfast i went to the train station and bought my ticket to Samarkand for tomorrow morning. I took the metro (a few times today actually). The subways here are very similar to thosein Moscow. They are quite elaborately decorated (not as much as the nicest of those in Moscow, but lovely nevertheless). I wanted to take photos, but it is forbidden, and there are police everywhere here. They haven't given me any trouble but i have seen them stop random people and look in their bags.
I went to the Chorsu bazaar today. It is mostly food items: produce and bread, spices and nuts, eggs, meats, etc., but there are also stall selling woven items, pottery, musical instruments, at whatnot. The Uzbekistan bread is very sacred to them. They incorporate it into ceremonies and pictures of it seems to be on all of their tourist advertising. Basically, the bread is this round, flat but with high edges, golden brown bread with sesame seeds. Sometimes they have intricate designs on them. The thing is, as i discovered today, it isn't that great. I mean, it would be great with some hummus or a hearty mutton stew, but on its own, it left much to be desired.
Also while walking around the market, i had fruit, pistachios, and various types of honey. I watched a goat (or sheep) get hacked apart with a small axe in the butcher' section. I also help collect fluffy yellow chicks that escaped from a sturcturally challenged cardboard box and were running away. My good deed for the day.
After the market i walked around the old city, which is enitrely unlike the more modern parts of the city. It is rather decrepit and tangled, but charming. I visited a few mosques and a medrassa, but basically i walked...all day.
It was about 37 degrees today. I don't know if this is the heat i was warned about; the heat that was spposed to crush me and force me inside in the midday with it oppressive hotness. I don't know, but i thoguht it was beautiful out today. Hot and sunny and dry. Perfect.
Late afternoon i stopped for a coffee, smoke, and ice cream at some cafe. I read the menu, perusing the assortment of tongue and organ meats, when i read the last page of the menu, it said: "Payment for dish brakes". And below that was a list of breakable dishes and prices. Aparently, if i had broken a plate it would have cost $5, but if i break a table it would be $75. This raises the obvious question: does this mean that i am allowed to break the table as losg as i pay for it? Or, more importantly, how often does this sort of behavious go on?
Very strange and amusing.
Anway, i walked some more, went to some parks and Independance Sqaure and then to dinner at a Russian restaurant, which was delicous.
I think that's it for today. My train is early in the morning and i wantto be well-rested for the firstday of the focus of my trip: Samarkand.
I'm sure i have more anecdotes, but they escape me at the moment.