Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In Europe...for a bit

A few days ago, in fact last Saturday, I arrived in Holland. Safely, but not entirely healthy yet.
Later today to Belgium, later this week to France, for a vacation. October 16, I will leave for Uzbekistan again.

Narrating, let alone explaining, the Uzbek experience proves more difficult than I thought.

Yet, also some unexpected similarities with Holland came up in a conversation with Harro, a friend and famous landscape architect: also here, in Holland, we are part of an extended delta system, with rivers overflowing, changing course, a sea rising and retreating, and all of this resulting in a patchwork soil with a complex layering, with peat, sand, clay and salt alternating in complex patterns. Also here, water management cannot rely on generic recommendations. The abundant rain makes the salt less of a problem, though.

Thanks to a book on pasturage in Uzbekistan, and conversations with the Dutch friends here, it finally dawned on me that the fertility of much of Khorezm's desert has the same cause: it might be dry, but other than that, the rivers and streams deposited everything needed for good agriculture.

(And now, a vacation)

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