Saturday, 10 August 2013

30 years: A birthday in Bukhara!

On the 7th of August I counted myself extremely fortunate to celebrate my 30th birthday in Bukhara. For quite some time we had thrown about the question of where we would be to celebrate this auspicious occasion. To be in a desert town with the rich history of Bukhara was simply fantastic.

The day was begun with a mighty breakfast feast, many emails from home (thanks!!) and some fun presents. Best present - at the bazaar Anna had found me a bike horn that literally could be mistaken for the horn of a large truck. Once I've figured out how I'll mount this great mechanism on my handlebars I shall cycle on in safety making my presence obvious to any stray cars.

Another generous present was the cash Mum and Dad deposited into our bank account. Aren't they sooo generous!? Needless to say Uzbeks get VERY quick at counting their great wads of cash.

Feeling the need for something a little novel to help mark the day we set about climbing the local water tower. To our dissappointent we found the access gate securely locked with no way around it. With the help of an enthusiastic dentist on holiday from Tashkent and a couple of US dollars we gained the key from the local Mosque and up we went for a splendid view over Bukhara. Perhaps this might be considered bribery but in Uzbekistan it is a blurry line defining what is bribery and what is payment!

Later in the day we enjoyed spending some time with a bunch of local lads burning off some of their energy. While they did acrobatic acts some workmen continued shovelling away this pile of sand without batting an eyelid.

As the day drew cooler we met friends Lulu and Michal, whom we'd enjoyed the company of several times across Central Asia, and our newest mate Hugh a cylist from Ireland. We found a beaut rooftop restaurant and enjoyed beers and fries and toasted this good life!

View from the rooftop- Bukhara sunset.

We found ourselves another classy restaurant to enjoy our mains. Thanks Mum and Dad for shouting a great meal for us all! The kebabs certainly did not disappoint. And yes, we were surrounded by more dancing water fountains and dazzling fluorescent lights.

Bithday boy, Hugh, Michal and Lulu. Along with Anna what wonderful company to share my 30th when so far from family and kiwi friends. To my surprise Michal and Lulu had arranged this beautiful cake for me. Thanks!! A memorable day filled with such fun and huge amounts of love sent from afar and in the people surrounding me. Cheers!!

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