This day the weather turned sunny and road got better. After riding away from Navoiy city, we learnt that not many villages lie ahead. Sherali’s house together with about 30 others form a small community. As we understood, each household works like a firm, having a plot of land to grow mainly wheat. Once harvest, each firm is allowed to sell 100% of it to the markets. Normally they would be required to sell 30% of it to the government at a lower price. Sherali is playing on an Azerbaijan instrument, Tor, and singing a folk song for us.
(Uzbekistan … 10.02.05 to 10.03.05)
On the opposite road, we came upon this man on a ‘horse’ & a boy on stilt while 2 other musicians played on. The man sang happily with much expression as if telling a tale. Some passersby gave them some ‘som’ (the Uzbek currency). Looks like a street performance in town
This is another rice dish cooked in milk and topped with butter. Like a pudding, but slightly salty … and tasty *slurps*
Bahtiyor’s house, that of his brother and their parents encircled a small field where they plant fruits and vegetables. The field also housed some livestock and the toilet. They are one of the many cotton growers in the country.
This village seemed to have sprung up from no where. There are probably less than 50 houses, all double-storey and built the same. Farau and his friend, Hamid, (and their wives too) were employees for the Chicken factory nearby during the Soviet times. When the factory shut down, people stayed on and took up farming or taxi-ing to keep a living.
Coincidently, a France couple on bicycles like us, spent the night with them last Summer. They couldn’t communicate much, relying on the dictionary from the French. We were a little better off, as told by Farau and his wife. *grin*
Normally, we would enter a big city early in the day so that when required, we could make it through before dark. Chazhin village is barely 12 km from Samarqand & here we saw many mini cafe, selling only ‘somsa’. Muqaddas and 3 other friends are busy preparing for the start of the day.
The traditional clay-oven is heated like the way they make ‘nons’ (bread).
Unlike to our Chinese dumplings, ‘somsa’ is baked in the oven, instead of steamed or deep fried.
The Uzbek Somsa Women
This is the latest, yet of ages old, gadget that we’ve discovered. Putting our feet under the table & cover all around with the enlarged table cloth, any cold feet will grow warm in a short while. No magic, just a heater underneath to bring a shivering man back to life! Introducing, ‘Shandari’, the feet warming table
Here is the owner, Xasanov & his friends Nurmahmad & Toher. We enjoyed a nice lunch-break & a chat through his daughter who speaks quite good English.