2012
05.12

SYNOPSIS:  ABOUT MONEY, TAXIS, A MAJOR THUNDERSTORM, SIGHTSEEING NORTH OF BUKHARA (OR NOT), A GREEDY AND A HOSPITABLE TAXI DRIVER, AND THE ARRIVAL AT A YURT CAMP AT THE END OF THE WORLD.

Yesterday, I thought I would plan ahead a bit which is not something I often do on these trips and when I do it, I usually regret it.  I went to a taxi stand to select a driver for today to a remote desert destination near Aidarkul Lake.  The taxi driver started out requesting a whopping $170 dollars for the day where I had estimated a reasonable and stiff enough $80.  We went back and forth and he came down to $100.  $80, I insisted.  Normally, I might not get so hard-nosed about $20 for a whole day worth of taxi driving, but my cash reserves are dwindling rapidly.  In fact, I completely underestimated the “broken” syndrome in this country.  The guidebook warns of banks and ATM’s without money, but it did not prepare me for the non-acceptance of my visa card everywhere.  I have not been able to use it once!  Even at a carpet shop, when I was ready to pay for some souvenir embroidery, curiously and suddenly visa could not be accepted since it was “broken”.  Of course, the internet has been “broken” in two hotels which I specifically chose for providing wifi!  It is agonizing.… VIEW PHOTOS AND READ THE WHOLE STORY