Thursday, February 03, 2005
A quick recap, more details later (when I get to my sis's place in China and have free and unlimited internet access). It is butt-ass cold. And has been for a couple weeks now. I have been incommunicado for a bit now because we spent some days in the outer rings of Hell, aka-the little town my sis stayed in a few years back. No internet access, no phone calls in or out without spending a mini-fortune (US standards), and various rod lashings and canings.
How am I now? Not bad. This is an update on my personal appearance and other such things. I have not showered, not even washed my hair, since...I don't know. Over a week for sure. Since it's cold and the gas (for heat) was unreliable, I haven't taken off my clothes and have had at a minimum 2 pairs of pants and 2 shirts and socks on for this entire period. Yes, I stink and am very dirty. But so is everyone else so it doesn't matter (who wants to get wet when it's -20-25 degrees C?)(yes, it was that cold).
Oh yeah-I either have giarddia again or some other nasty stomach bug. Our second day there found me with loudly gurgling rumbling stomach, dashing to the toilet way too often.
FYI-Waking up to a cramping stomach and massive stomach pains and having to run outside to the toilet (there are no indoor toilets)(there are no toilets either. Only holes in the ground) at 1am and 3am in -25 degree C weather to squat over an outdoor hole is not fun. My sympathy for sis's experiences 4 years ago have greatly increased.
However, this stomach issue, while becoming the talk of the town (literally), saved me from having to eat as much horribly unhealthy food (cottonseed oil is used. Illegal to cook with in most places, even in China. It more closely resembles motor oil than any cooking oil I've ever seen) and got me out of drinking nasty Uzbek vodka (tried some. It stripped the paint from my insides). I am doing much better, so maybe it's not giarddia. I'll wait until we leave this country (sanitary conditions, on the whole, are not what you might call....decent) and then take the 'cure' if necessary.
There you have it. Right now we are back in Bukhara. Rolled in last night, slept in a freezer, and will be heading to Samarkand this evening. After a couple of days there we'll head back to Tashkent, take care of business and get out Kyrgyzstan visas and then start heading to China. And when we get to my sis's place? Maybe I'll sit inside and not leave for a month. We'll see. That seems boring though, doesn't it? Stay tuned...