Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Uzbekistan: Sometimes It's the Little Things... (part 1)

In our first few days at Post, a colleague shared an observation: "Eitan could pass as Uzbek," he told us.

Then he turned to me.

"You stick out like a sore thumb," he remarked. "Your look is too exotic."

I didn't feel overly "exotic," but I would hear echos of this analysis from a few different people over the coming days.  One person went on to add that while I didn't look Uzbek, I could definitely pass as Russian.  I'm not sure that amounts to any great advantage, though.  People will just be all the more shocked that I don't speak Russian worth a darn.

In any case, my exotic look isn't the only thing blowing my cover as a foreigner.  Of course, speaking English is a give-away, as is my tendency to look around too much.  And it seems I'm also the only adult in town who wears t-shirts in public.


As I was walking down the street one day, I heard something rustling in the ditch.  I stopped to have a look, and the source of the noise was a little grey mouse.  He was soon joined by a friend, and the two of them poked around in the litter with no concern for me.

It was nice to come across these guys, reminiscent of my brother's pet mouse, Bullet, rather than the monster sewer rats you often find in urban areas.


After a full day of sightseeing, Eitan and I caught the Metro toward home.  In the train car we boarded there were enough people to fill nearly every seat, but no one was standing.

Eitan and I were the first people without room to sit, so we stood near the door, holding onto the metal handrail.

A few minutes into our journey, a young man motioned for us to take his seat.  Between his body and his backpack, he had been occupying two spaces.

The young man, who was maybe 14 or 15 years old, stood up, and Eitan and I took his place.  I assumed this teenager must be getting off soon, but he rode the train four more stops and departed at the same station as we did.

"Do you think that kid offered up his seat because we look old?" I asked Eitan.

"No," he answered, "we don't look that old."

Perhaps Eitan was right.  Maybe the kid gave up his seat on account of my exotic look.


Anonymous said...

Haha, nobody would ever give up a seat in Oslo... Jen

Unknown said...

Giving your seat to anyone slightly older is a cultural gesture in that part of th world .
Not denying the good looks !

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...were the seats wet ? ;)sm