Silk Road Miscellaneous Trip Amusements

Here's a random list of things that made me laugh or smile on the Silk Road/Central Asia trip, in bulleted list form:

  • The ever-changing colored mood lights on the flight from Chicago to Istanbul, as well as the flight from Tajikistan to Kyrgyzstan
  • The small two-stall bathroom for the entire terminal of passengers in the Istanbul airport 
  • Toilet paper that resembles thick grey crepe paper

  • The Uzbek green crosswalk signal man who looks like he’s doing a slippery moonwalk
  • The black market money-changing Santa Claus in the Chorsu bazaar
  • The phonetically-spelled words with an Uzbek accent on otherwise perfectly-written English signs, such as “blad” for blood and “flash” for flush
  • The hot pink shower curtain with dolphins at the Tashkent hotel, and then a dolphin print bath rug at the old Khiva hotel. "This is a dolphin-themed trip!"
  • The universally/globally enjoyed TV programs of music videos and hidden camera prank shows that played on the planes, in the restaurants, in the hotels...
  • The lack of bedsheets. Just a mattress, sheet, and comforter. That's all you get and all you need. 
  • The Selena Gomez “Same Old Love” ringtone on our Uzbek tour guide Bek’s phone
  • Seeing a man walking a cow on a leash on a two-lane highway
  • 9:30am Dec. 31st on the bus: “What are you drinking?” “It’s honey vodka” “Of all the vodkas, that’s like a breakfast vodka.”
  • Ben: “Ines just woke up and is wondering what’s happening. You missed the past minute and a half. Everyone was looking out the bus window watching Johnson pee.”
  • Bek: “Stop comparing Uzbek Som to USD and compare it to local items. That souvenir is not ‘only $3.’ That is worth one whole bottle of vodka!”
  • Playing 'paper telephone' with hilarious results:
Matt's written note: "Ain't got a clue"

  • Seeing a man with his wife and child all sharing a one-passenger bike
  • Helen forcing Tan to listen to the same song on loop over and over again because that’s just what she likes to do. “Wasn’t ‘Hello’ by Adele so good? Get ready to hear it a hundred more times!”
  • Seeing a cart full of six men being pulled by a donkey at walking pace beside the highway as we drove to Samarkand
  • Asking Ben to take a picture of you doing something was an invitation for him to take a hundred photos, only one or two of which was of what you actually requested:

  • The tradition of every meal starting with announcing a list of what alcoholic beverages are available and how much each one costs
  • The abundance of unibrowed women in the Khoja Obigarm resort
  • Ben’s iPod filled with any and every cheesy song you can think of. “Do you have ‘Pass the Dutchie’?” “Queueing it up next.”
  • Matt’s undeniably British catchphrases like “Oh my days!” “Bloody ‘ell” “They’re winding you up” and “The world’s gone mad”
  • Spending a whole 14 days with amazing travel companions with whom I have shared endless memories