Street food is in quotes because Dushanbe doesn’t have street food like other places. You can’t stop on the street and get meat on a stick or a waffle or takbokki. But you can get ice cream.
I arrived here in August and it was hot. Ice cream stands were on every corner. But now that the temperature has dropped to 70 F in the afternoon, who wants ice cream?
This man had a roaring business a week ago. He had a big, bright umbrella and sold ice cream non-stop. I’m told the ice cream stands turn into popcorn stands. Like this:
I stopped at a hole in the wall to see what was to eat. This is a literal hole in the wall. A smooth black wall with a square door in it at about my eye level.
I didn’t want to be obvious about taking a picture, so this isn’t as good as it could have been. Next to the man’s head is the hole in the wall. The proprietor had a menu printed up. This is a hot dog joint. I ordered a hot dog nonie or khot dok noni in Russian (?) Tajik (?).
Well, it was more like a salad on a bun than a hot dog. Not bad for 33 cents.
One reason I was excited to move to Dushanbe was the mountains that surround the city. After living on the steppe, I was excited to see mountains. The notification for this hike said: Route: Goes along Sangalt River with clean blue waters, through the picturesque canyons. The path is very mild and crossing the river is by the wooden bridges, also visiting the local shepherd’s dwelling.
Hmm. Sounds interesting. Doesn’t sound steep or dangerous.
“We’ll go up there,” says Denis. “Or you can go by the river and rest.” Again Debbie the Glum One looks at the trail going straight up and says silently, “No. Won’t do it.” When Denis calls on me by name, however, the words, “Yes, I’ll go” come out of my mouth.
Apparently we took the wrong path, which turned out to be a blessing.
Wow! Three hundred sixty degree views of mountains with snow on the peaks. Great! Just look at that sky!
These are the houses the shepherds live in for summer high pasture.
With views like this, I wouldn’t mind going to the high pasture for the summer.
We returned by a different way, making a loop back to the main trail. It was a very steep descent along a ridge. We figured if goats could do it, we could, too. These steep descents make me very nervous. I was clutching my walking stick so tightly I got a cramp in my hand!
I’m kind of getting used to hiking in Tajikistan. It’s going to be a steep ascent with beautiful, fabulous views from the top.
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Travel is good. Travel need not be expensive. Five star hotels? Four star hotels? What about one star hotels? Ah, yes, wandering the world One Star at a time.