Silk Road – The Stats

  • Countries visited: five (all five of them with a “Stan” in their name, if you include the world-famous “Chinastan”). We also visited Turkistan, but that’s only a town and – technically – cheating. All of the above are generously referred to as “Trashcanistan” by my loving father. Hi Dad!
  • Number of fat bottomed sheep slaughtered in the name of mutton kebabs: we have discussed this at length, and we think the correct term is “flocks”. This may also fall under some of the more interesting ancient indigenous counting systems that go “one, two, three, many”
  • Number of dreams James has had featuring strangely erotic dancing fat-bottomed sheep: none. Or so he says. Lucy isn’t sure she believes this.
  • Antibiotic pills popped to counteract aforementioned mutton: 26 (or 13 grams). Although we have issues with the US medical system and overprescription in general, it played a blinder this time
  • Run-ins with the police: only one. On the Tashkent metro, and aforementioned Copper was disappointingly friendly. What was all this we had heard about a police state?
  • Illicit currency deals: too many to count, although notably including one involving two sweet old ladies masquerading as government officials from the Tashkent Ministry of Culture and Antiquities. No, really
  • Number of mosques / new shades of blue discovered. Both of these are completely numberless; the architecture was incredible, and incredibly old. Isn’t it strange how many facets of the infinite we are touching on here? We blame the beer
  • Natural disaster zones visited: one – Darvaza gas crater (as we didn’t get to what is left of the Aral Sea). We have been travelling to some pretty extraordinary places, but this truly, truly takes the biscuit. Go see it while you can. It may be James’s new favourite place (see engagement below)
  • Animals harmed during the course of this production: hmmm. Definitely one (the fox). Not sure if we should count all the sheep. Did we mention the mutton?
  • Pots of extraordinary home-made jam consumed in antique jewel-like breakfast rooms: so many, so good, so glad we both underwent the diarrhea diet afterwards (otherwise known as the India diet, but James isn’t going there again in a hurry)
  • Miles travelled: a truly epic 3,000+. From Ashgabat in Turkmenistan to Jiayuguan and the end of the Great Wall of China(stan)
  • It’s not a statistic as such (OK, so we are cheating, it’s not a statistic at all) but to witness the changes in cultures, faces, foods and landscape as you make a long overland journey through a global cultural melting pot with such an extraordinary ancient and modern history has been incredibly affecting and a real privilege. The only thing that remains constant is the sheep. Did we mention the mutton?
  • Number of long-standing dreams captured: one. Lucy has dreamed of coming to the Silk Road for nearly twenty years. Oh, and getting engaged here wasn’t half bad either

Guys, it has been utterly amazing. Again.

One thought on “Silk Road – The Stats

  1. I’m so jealous of you! looking forward to go there and follow your steps! Is one month enough? I’m expecting a Top 10 in the silky road! :)


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