Somewhere between Koshina and Termez (UZB)- Dushanbe (TJK)
August 19, 2014
Sleeping in a tiny car with lots of things stuffed inside it is not the best resting experience. Our bodies all ached in the morning. We continued the drive at 6am and finally arrived Uzbek/ Tajik border at around Noon, thinking we can swiftly pass this border. But the Uzbek side again have to search all of our bags for drugs and “girl magazines”. While Young and I got the exit stamps since we went through the passenger passport booth, Graham’s took much longer because the car is under his named. When he got the car paperwork done, the passport control went for lunch and we have to wait for an hour until he came back. To make it clear, there are only maybe 5 trucks and our car. That’s it for all the traffic this morning. It was a super hot day and the sun is scorching hot, that one hour feel likes 24 hours, Einstein will agree.
Then we drive to the Tajik border. The crossings is a super swift process they didn’t even search our car. We paid 2 $USD for some fee for our car and we are on the way.
We arrived in Dushanbe around 5pm, We were starving and we ate at some unknown local food at a random outdoor restaurant. It was delicious.
We struggled to find a hotel. Because Tajikistan is still opening up Dushanbe is lack of mid-range hotel. According to the guidebook there is no mid-range hotels in Dushanbe. We tried Marian’s Guest House according to its great review. It is well hidden in a small alley and super beautiful inside, with a nice fountain and well-manicured garden. We ran the bell and the first things that guy say is not hello, but “Do you know how much it costs? It’s $85 Euro per person.” I guess we looked a bit raggedy for their taste and their bourgeois image so we left. I lived in New York I don’t need to travel to the poorest country in Central Asia to experience the same classism attitude. We ended up staying at Hotel Tajikistan and pay $100 per person for a gigantic honeymoon family suite that came with two separate rooms and a kitchen. Sorry Marian’s Guesthouse its your lost.
We got an email from Will at Team Diabettle. His 60 VW Betlle broke down in Germany and broke down again in Georgia, altogether they went through 16 mechanics but the car still not work. He is flying in from Almaty tomorrw to visit the diabete camp. We sincerely thought this mission is not going to went through, maybe it is good karma, the timing cannot be better. Yesterday we almost left Dushanbe after our late lunch and drive up the Fan mountains.
It was a gruesome 24 hours drive we stayed at the hotel room recuperate and check internet for updates…etc. I bought some local beer and got some random hamburger meals from a local fast food chain, then fall asleep in 5 seconds.