Monday, October 18, 2010

Urgench it is

Back in town, back in Urgench. Three days of travel this time, starting in Holland; one night in Frankfurt, one in Tashkent. Problems with trains and rails brought this delight, enhanced by an old and shaky Soviet plane for the last leg of the trip. Shashlik in Tashkent to acclimatize.

After talking to some colleagues and to the project coordinator, it looks like I'd better shorten the stay in Tashkent in November, since help might be hard to find there, and because the same might be true for the people we want to interview. I have a new assistant, my health is fine, the heat is gone, and I have some Uzbek routines to settle in now -this is the positive side. Now, trying to remember who I talked to about what, who is missing, why, and why that's a pity.

Cotton harvest is almost over, much winter wheat has been sown, the rice is off the fields, but most trees are still green, and some apples, grapes and quince are still there. Life is going back to normal, the universities reconvene, and people take up their real professions again.

[Not much harvest in France, Belgium or Holland. Plenty of rain though, and plenty of excellent seafood. One night in Brittany, we stayed in a 13th century manor turned into a b&b, but some found the wall paper atrocious enough to run away nevertheless]

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