October 20.21: The Future and The Past

Hop on the Tashkent Metro and instantly transport yourself to futuristic outer space or back six hundred years. Kosmonavtlar Station celebrates Uzbek cosmonaut’s including Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova, who “is the first and youngest woman to have flown into space with a solo mission on the Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963. She orbited the Earth 48 times, spent almost three days in space, and remains the only woman to have been on a solo space mission.” Alisher Novoi Station, named for the 15th Century Uzbek poet, presents Silk Road-era scenes from Novoi’s writings. Up from the underground at Chorsu Bazaar, there are piles of meat, spices, nuts, dried fruit, vegetables and the brightest lemons you’ve ever seen. “Chorsu” apparently stems from the Persian language and means “confluence” or “four streams” and it is aptly named… people have been coming here to talk, trade and sell their wares for hundreds of years… go with the flow! Pass the dilapidated Sirk and the kooky kids playground and head into the Old City for glimpses of secret street life and men on their way to prayer at the mosque. Keep going and suddenly you’re in the weird world of Tashkent City where the everything is “perfect” and eerily devoid of life. If this is progress, I’ll take the old ways!

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