Friday, August 01, 2008

Central Asia Preface: Watermelon World

Travelling in Central Asia, there are several sights and experiences that you expect to encounter. Yurts, Plov, Turquoise Madressas, and idiosynchratic travel arrangements are all part of the fun.

One of the more unexpected sights for me, especially considering the tragedy of the Aral Sea, was the obscene wastage of water and the abundance of watermelons in every corner of this dry land. From the leaky dozens of fountains in Samarkand in 50+ heat, to the midday lawn sprinklers in bone-dry Tashkent, to the endless cotton fields in the desert, to the lorry-loads of hundreds of watermelons in every town across Central Asia, I wondered if the prevalence of even 10% more sanity could make a huge difference in this fragile environment.

Our odessey across Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan was an eye-opening taste of the wonders of Central Asia, stay tuned for stories and photos.

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