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12 February 2012 / leggypeggy

Bukhara—quirky hotel and thieving grocery store

A takhta—traditional seating in Central Asian teahouses.

Uzbekistan was a standout county for us, and Bukhara (our second stop) did not disappoint.

We arrived in daylight (unusual) and immediately appreciated the quirkiness of our hotel.

Now I should mention that when you are on an overland trip, you don’t normally stay in hotels. But Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are not ‘camping-friendly’, so hotels, hostels or homestays are usually the only options.

Our hotel in Bukhara was just off the main square. It has two stories, built around a lovely courtyard which is overlooked by a rambling set of walkways and rickety staircases. All sorts of plaster and wood work is being carried out on the walls to give them an ‘olde worlde’ look, which sort of works and sort of doesn’t.

Just below our second-story room was one of those bed-type platforms that are so popular in teahouses in this part of the world. Built of wood, this traditional seating, called a takhta, is covered with carpeting, thin mattresses and pillows. There’s usually a low table in the middle. And of course, the rule is NO SHOES. As an aside, takhats tend to be men-only territory. Women and foreigners are tolerated.

When three isn't a crowd. Note the fancy ceiling

As with many hotels in Central Asia, the rooms in Bukhara are for three to four people—never just two—so we shared with Terry. He’s a night owl, so our schedules don’t conflict at all. He gets ‘home’ about the time we’re ready to leave for breakfast.

There was a small grocery store around the corner which sold an array of basics, as well as beer and spirits. Several times I went in to buy a couple of beers, but the fellow at the counter always wanted to charge me three times the price that was marked on the shelf. Other people from the truck had bought it for the posted price, but I never could. Many of my fellow travellers offered to go buy beer for me, but being a belligerent boycotter, I declined. I wasn’t about to give those thieves any of my money. I say, principles before beer. And gosh I’m thirsty.

But speaking of money, I felt like a bazillionaire in Uzbekistan. One US dollar was worth almost 1800 Uzbek som. So every US$100 we changed gave us almost 180,000 som. To top it off, the banknotes are huge. I had to carry our loot around in my daypack because it sure wouldn’t fit in a wallet.

Also don’t forget to pick a number before 29 February 2012.

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13 Comments

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  1. Derrick / Feb 12 2012 8:40 pm

    Any photos of the bed sheets they call money or bank notes ?

    If I got enough, maybe I could paper a wall with them (might be cheaper than wall paper 🙂

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    • leggypeggy / Feb 12 2012 9:20 pm

      Not sure that I have any pics, but I’ll try to find one. Bed sheet is a perfect description—big as a bed sheet and thick as a blanket.

      Like

  2. Louise M Oliver / Feb 13 2012 10:10 am

    That bright pink flower is absolutely gorgeous! Any idea what it’s called or if it is native to Uzbekistan? And just as well you have such well-developed calves with all those stairs going here there and everywhere.

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Feb 13 2012 11:28 am

      I wish I knew Louise. Maybe someone can track it down. I see what I can find.

      Like

      • Sy S. / Feb 15 2012 5:20 am

        Louise and Peggy,

        I e-mailed about 7 of my Russian friends and inquired about the pink flower in Central Asia. Below is my friend Vlad’s reply:
        “I was born in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, and visited places of my childhood, including Bukhara, several years ago. Naturally, we used to have a garden in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, sixty years ago, with the flowers like aster, violets, ciclamens, and similar European regular stuff (save very popular poppy, though). The beautiful flower which Sy showed to us, was considered in Uzbekistan a weed at that time not deserving a special name among the laymen.”

        So sorry to say that the pink flower is just a common weed, but still a pretty one.

        Regards,

        Sy S.

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      • Sy S. / Feb 15 2012 10:54 am

        Another Vladimir said it looks like it belongs to the Burdock/Thistle family,,, However, “Leggy Pinky” is good a name as any LOL Just admire the thistle and don’t pick, because one prickly thistle might come off and stick to your clothing.

        Sy S.

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      • leggypeggy / Feb 15 2012 12:43 pm

        Thanks Sy. I’d wondered if it might be from the thistle family, but the leaves are so big. I’ll do a little more looking.

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  3. Sy S. / Feb 13 2012 10:22 am

    Googling Images; Bukhara Banknotes- http://tinyurl.com/6r79qc5

    Like

    • Derrick / Feb 13 2012 10:51 am

      they are big arent they ?
      I reckon you could choke a cow with a couple of them
      wouldnt need many to cover a bed
      what is the going rate for them (UK or US$) ?

      Like

    • leggypeggy / Feb 13 2012 11:27 am

      Thank Sy. You are a real detective. Anyone who goes to look at the pics in the link should know that the guy (about fourth pic along) is holding about US$10 worth of Uzbek notes.

      Like

  4. leggypeggy / Feb 15 2012 7:45 am

    Thanks so much Sy. It goes to show you that even a ‘common’ weed isn’t necessarily so common after all. Maybe we could call it Leggy Pinky? 🙂

    Like

  5. mobiliferrariadrianosnc / Nov 27 2014 6:04 pm

    I was in Uzbekistan one month ago, it was a very good good Trip. thanks for visit, bye Fabio

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Nov 27 2014 6:16 pm

      Uzbekistan is a fascinating country. Thanks for visiting and liking my blog.

      Like

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