Sometimes my life feels like a B-movie, made for TV, straight to DVD, Maybe I’ll have a future on YouTube re-runs. I hope so.
This trip was doomed from the start. Part of that is my fault. It’s been put off and postponed and changed until I almost forgot what the original inspiration for it was—a major excursion into the heart of Central Asia—and now only this tiny bit of the original project remained as a possibility for this year. So when the timing seemed to fall into place, I went for it. That could have been a bad mistake, of course, because Uzbekistan is part of the old USSR, you know, so still has much of that old mentality of endless and mindless bureaucracy, in this case (expensive) visas, letters of introduction, and all that.
So I sent in the application and money order. Then all of a sudden I found out that I would have to move from the apartment I’d been living in for almost a year, and to which I’d addressed a self-stamped envelope for the return of my passport. So the first thing I did was send a letter to the Uzbek consul asking to change my return address. I never got a response. So I waited, growing a little bit more-than-antsy with stress as the weeks passed. Still I received no response from the Uzbek consul.
By that time my only real concern was my passport, out there in the ether, no direction home. I don’t like being without my passport. I can’t even go to Mexico without my passport. The month of July passed slowly. I didn’t even care about the trip anymore. I just wanted my passport back. As the month came to a close, I started making contingency plans to report it stolen, get a new one and just continue on with the European part of my trip—I was connecting in Frankfurt—and forget Uzbekistan. (More …)