Saturday, May 14, 2005

Travel Guide-Uzbekistan now the hot, hot HOT spot



The first time I was abroad, I encountered a special breed of traveler, the type who seems unnaturally obsessed with/tuned into(depending on your tolerance for "next big thing" devotees)spots on the globe that were the cheapest, friendliest, most debauched and least overrun with foreigners. As anyone who has spent an unhealthy amount of time around Western expats(I admit I'm guilty of this venal sin) will tell you, there is a fine line between adventurer and intolerable bore, and far too many individuals fall into the latter category.

Since 2001, I've had a running joke with a few friends about Uzbekistan, a place whose oppressive dictatorship, barren Central Asian landscape, and post-Soviet economy makes it a seemingly perfect target for these thrill-seeking locusts. Every time I hear one of these people relate their travel stories, I've fought the urge to say, "well, I hear Tashkent is the next big thing, man! Better get there before the Aussies play it out!" Finally, I feel like encouraging them might do more than make me feel superior-it might rid the world of a few of these insufferable asses.

Sadly, the current anti-government demonstrations and the escalating violence mean that Uzbekistan is now a legitimately interesting spot for the "danger zone" enthusiasts, and if some sort of democracy emerges, a tchotchke laden free market nightmare a la Prague. Either way, I have to find a new city to represent my disdain for travel junkie decadence.

1 comment:

AKMAL said...

Dearest MEREDITH,

GREETINGS. Allow AKMAL to make his introduction. I am AKMAL, known throughout my native homeland of UZBEKISTAN for my BULGING LOINS, sexual PROWESS, and BULGING LOINS. It is with great INSULT that I read your postingness, for AKMAL shall tell you that UZBEKISTAN is full of CHARM and whimsy. For all practical purposes, it is an ORGY of DEMOCRACY. WOMEN roar and men PLUNDER. Ze wheat grows as high as an ELEPHANT'S EYE, and Afghanistan ENVIES us.

Please refrain from slandering my GREAT HOMELAND. What you call imminent civil war, AKMAL calls LOCAL COLOUR. You are misunderestimating ze INS and OUTS of everyday UZBEK LIFE. It is a life of DANGER, ACTION et INTRIGUE. A life that makes our WOMEN robust and our men SEXUALLY ATTRACTIVE in a SWEATY MANNER.

AKMAL invites you to visit his GREAT NATION, and stay in his GREAT PANTS. There, you will learn all about ze LOCAL COLOUR and LOCAL CUISINE. Ze CUISINE of PANTS. If you still feel the same way about my GREAT NATION, then the GLOVE OF CHALLENGE shall be cast down, and we will settle ze matter in the CIRCLE OF DEATH.

A good day you YOU, ma'am!

AKMAL T. Moidinov
Tashkent, USBEKISTAN