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Update: Thu 19:50


I woke not to the sound of being ordered to breakfast but with the brilliant idea of using my tub of grease that's been in the panniers since I left home instead of the non-existent petroleum jelly! Perhaps not best used on chaffed legs but surely must make a halfway decent bung as far as any bung is going to limit fork oil from leaking out.

Uzbek Visa

In the meanwhile I've managed to sweet-talk the delightful A (whom readers with worrying good memories may recall I met very briefly in Kerala) whose Russian is native and whose English is good enough to understand the wierd Uzbek visa situation.

Thank goodness, too, as the Uzbeks are all over the show. The first call revealed that the 30th was a complete mistake and that they couldn't possibly be handing a visa out this week if I'd only put the application in on Tuesday (26th). At the second attempt it turns out that you can phone on the 30th (the Saturday) to find out about the status of your urgent visa application. Not that they do any useful work on a Saturday, they simply answer the phone. They are also closed on Mondays (though they do answer the phone and may or may not do some work) but ultimately I can only pick the visa up, at best, on Tuesday. Eight real days (arguably, four working days which would match the "urgent" status, something I will no doubt pay through the nose for).

So some more exciting days in Bishkek.

You may be right in fearing that the contents of the next few updates may be scraping the bottom of the barrel for illuminating content.


The best part of a week with nothing to do in the first of several countries where English is not the most popular language on the block? Time to learn some Russian.

Of course, it's very warm, and learning languages is difficult. A cartoon representation of the learning process may have involved a line of Zs...

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