'I'm a celebrity...get me out of here'
Updated: Jan 20, 2020
One thing that is glaringly obvious in Central Asia (Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan so far) is that there are no black people. Not a one, not even another bloody tourist. We are a rarity, and it seems one to be recorded on a sly photo taken on phone (I can see you), or by the bold ones who stop us in the street and smile broadly while waving their phone (the unviversal sign of the photo), or the older woman who clamps her hand (tightly) to your arm when you're in the middle of negotiating a photo with another group and demands a photo. All you can do is smile and say yes, when all you want to do is pick up your skirts and run. For how can you deny their kind faces, or the border guard, who after they've terrified you with a stern cold expression during passport control then laughs and smiles with you after you have passed the customs check. Now they are able to warmly welcome you to their country, but first you need to dispense with the matter of the selfie, with his arm gripping your shoulders and ensuring that you will stay put while they play with lighting and location. For this is the first opportunity to get that (seemingly) rare artefact on camera, a picture with me!
I have so far only had one experience of being sold (of course by 'The Man') but thankfully my would be buyer already had 7 children, and really didn't need another wife. Though an hour later he did try to rub the colour off my skin (let's roll those eyes together). What was interesting is that when I recounted this to two of my fellow passengers they were shocked and aggrieved on my behalf. Somewhat unlike 'The Man', whose shoulders I can see shaking with laughter at each and every encounter. Wait until India, his time will come.
Oh dear, the word is out, and I've been tracked down by the school kids. Now, I just need to embrace my celeb status and get better at posing.
#centralasia #Turkmenistan #Uzbekistan #Khiva #Ashgabat #Overlandtravel