Earlier in the morning we'd walked around the local area and witnessed an interesting sight at the local bank where a crowd of people were trying to get in while the security guards were pushing them back and only allowing one person in at a time. As the voices were being raised and the jostling on both sides started the scene seemed set for what is euphemistically called in the Western press “an incident” so we left them to it.
While the men wear Western style trousers and skirts the women wear brightly patterned tunics which reach almost to ankle level with matching trousers underneath, then comes the strange part, most wear wildly colourful socks, the sort imported from China, and plastic slip-on sandals.
The Bukhara train station is about 10ks out of town and first impression was a surprise at how many beggars there were, many of them children. As we drove into town we passed long lines of cars waiting for petrol and we were told that over the past 3 months there have been problems with petrol supply in most of the regional areas. One petrol station had high metal gates which were opened to allow individual cars into the bowsers, and we watched as a couple of men pushed their car up to the pumps, it having run out of petrol during what must have been a very long wait in the queue.
|Kalon Mosque, Bukhara|