We are crossing fingers. The Tajik visa should be obtained at 16H00 and then we would be off by road for about 3 hours to Oybek the little village on the border. We’ll cross on foot to the Tajik side and catch another marshrutka for another 2 hours before reaching Khojand where we intend to sleep.
We are waiting at a Kontinent food court, the same French Continent. Loud music on large tv screens with advertisement in French and French clip music. Wifi is free and loads of youngsters spend time here during the present school holidays. We could be anywhere in the world except for the Cyrillic ads and menu.
Talking about food. It is amazing as populations take on the conquerors cuisine. I would guess that the present Central Asian food came from the Mongols which means that the name varies from place to place but are only different versions (adapted locally) of the same original recipe. Typical examples are Plov, pilov, pilav, pilaf, pilau, pilao, polo, plo. It even came down to Mauritius. It was renamed and spiced up in India who got it from the Moghuls. It is probably not a coincidence that Indian Rajasthan near the Jaisalmer desert sounds similar to the Samarkand Registan (Sandy place in Tajik). One is not to forget that Babur who came to India was one of Tamerlane grandson. Another example is Kebab and shashlik which runs from Xinjiang, China, to India and Turkey. Same for Samsa, Somsa, Samoosa(India), Sambusa (Tajikistan) Sambucek (Lebanon) , the triangular pastry with various fillings, vegetable or meat.
Dumplings originally from China, now: Pilmieni, Pierogi (Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia), manti (Turkey,Central Asia), wantan/wonton,Jiaozi, Kiao, baozi,(China) Khinkhali (Georgia), Dusbere (Azerbaijan) or even ravioli (Italy) in soup. We are eating them every day in their different versions, here with mutton and beef going to pork in China or Georgia. We prefer not to spend too much time asking of what the filling is made of. All of this shows a very early form of globalisation long before the Macdo.