We left Kokand this morning and the plan was to go see a ceramics factory in Rishtan, but as we drove by it was clear our destination was nothing but a tourist trap. I’ve been around artists my whole life. I know how to make ceramics. I also lived in Santa Fe. I don’t need to see a ceramics shop. I wanted my daughter to see one, and I’m sure there’s got to be a cool one around here somewhere, but this one wasn’t it. We drove on.
Small town eastern Uzbekistan.
Today was mostly driving and chilling. It’s Sunday and museums were closed.
Since our plans had changed it meant we had to search for a new place to stay for the night. We found a place that looked good on Google Maps, drove straight there, parked, then couldn’t find it. No sign, no nuthin’. I called the number listed on Google, no answer. It was very frustrating.
So, we found another place. A much more expensive place. This one has a pool, and it’s fancy, and the restaurant is great, but still, it’s not where we wanted to go. The other place had a kitty. Google reviews said so. How’s this for how things work out sometimes? Almost immediately after we checked in at fancy place the owner of the original place we wanted to go returned my call and apologized for missing my call! He had an available room and offered it to us! Ugh!!!! I told him we had already checked in somewhere else but he offered to let us come over and meet his cat anyway. We made plans to do that later.
We’ve decided to have the car worked on a bit. I think it needs some new spark plugs and maybe a fuel filter so we asked the hotel to call us a mechanic. One came to grab the car. We asked him to give us a new air filter, a new fuel filter, and new spark plugs. Hopefully it’ll help with the car’s problems and the car will be like new tomorrow. Of course, if that is the problem, it brings us back to our original problem of: Why did my fucking mechanic not do this when I told him to prepare my car for the trip three weeks ago?
We saw a coffee shop right next to the hotel called Brown Sugar and thought we’d check it out. I know. I know, you’re thinking: they’re not eating Uzbek food? Naw. I mean… we’re eating some local foods we’ve never heard of when we see them, but Uzbek food is pretty much the same thing as Kazakh food and we’ve been living in this region for a year already so we’re okay with just eating whatever we want when we see it. I was really impressed with the coffee shop. The food was fine but the impressive part was the decor. It was wildly unexpected. It was American/Euro vintage style.
After lunch I called the first place we had wanted to stay and asked if now would be a good time to come over and see Mr. Samson, the kitty. Yes!!! It was only a short walk away. It turned out we had been in the right place the first time, only the sign over the door was very small. We ended up spending several hours there! The owner is a great guy. We mostly discussed world travels and world politics of course, that’s who we are. I was specifically asked to not link to his place here because he doesn’t like the cult of personality around himself. I can understand that. We’d still be sitting there talking to him had we not been called back to get our car. So you’ll never know the name of the place.
We’re back at our hotel having dinner now. We haven’t driven the car. Actually, there aren’t any hills around here anyway so we’ll all have to wait a couple days to find out if the the spark plugs were the solution. Even if they don’t fix the problem, new spark plugs aren’t going to hurt anything.