Here I am.

I’m in Samarkand, where I’ve seen mosques and madrassas and mausoleums, all covered in gorgeous tilework. I’ve taken endless photos of archways and doorways. I’ve drunk two pots of green tea. I’ve seen donkeys pulling carts on the main road while cars – mostly Daewoos and Ladas and little cars I’ve never seen before – whiz by. I’ve climbed up a minaret to see the view from the top. I’ve had a waitress with gold teeth declare herself my friend. I’ve discovered that the largest Uzbek bill is worth less than a dollar, so when you change money, it’s awkward if you change too much.

And it’s just been one day.

More from me later, when I’m not taking up the hotel’s only computer while the nice young Uzbke guy who works here waits kindly in the courtyard…

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