I ask the staff of B&B about the fares of each kind of vehicles to Khiva.
The transfer terminal is what I was drop from Samarkand. Ulugbek bus station terminal.
It’s far from Bukhara to Khorezm.The hard way across the desert makes me decide to take share taxi.
As I arrived at the parking lot, drivers flood to you soon.
I hear English from a lady, she and her daughter were going through the desert, too. Their destination is the border and then to Turkmenistan. I joined them to load the car full. We go.

Usually the travelers to Khiva need to transfer in Urgench. The deal is the driver drove me to Khiva pass through Urgench directly and I pay him 10000som more.

The road is bad. The drivers are used to dodge the hollows. I don’t think that’s better because the car still run over the hollows again and again but dodging made it slower.

It’s cotton-cropping season. Mavluda told me it’s tradition for local students to help cropping.
“so why are you here?” I ask
“You can pay some money to find someone to take over you.” She answered.

I gave up Turkmenistan because the visa is not easy to get.
But Mavluda said it’s not so difficult if your goal is to visit your relatives there.
Maybe I can disguise myself as an Arabian…..(Mavluda is a Arabian)
Who….mixed just a little Chinese DNA……
My eyebrow needs longer and more black….
My nose…
My jaw…..
My skin….
Yeahh….it’s feasible!!

It’s happy to talk with her so the long way is no bored.

After we arrived at Urgench, the driver let me to change car.
I thought he should drive me there directly not let me have to wait another car full to go.

I know he must charge me little more than standard but for me I save the time to negotiate with other drivers and wait.
If I still have to change car, it didn’t make sense anymore to pay him the extra.

At first, Mavluda’s mom thought I misunderstood and explained to me.
Meanwhile, Mavluda who stands outside to take a rest actually was asking the other driver about the fare for me. It only cost 3000som!!!!

After Mavluda’s mom figured out the circumstance, she blamed the young driver for his dishonesty. Of course, they used the language I don’t understand. But I know she was in my side.

Now we totally understand the situation: the driver hide and utilized the information about fare to try to cheat more money.

After we get the quite right information, he has no chance.

I went to the other driver with my big pack. Mavluda’ mom called my name. When hearing my name, I pause a second….. She walked to me and reminded “Hung-Lin, don’t pay more than 3000 som” And then “order” the driver never try to charge me more than 3000soms.

I was the last one to load the car. The driver started the engine and leave. It’s hurriedly. I didn’t say goodbye to Mavluda. Their car was still there waiting for other passengers. The weather is hot. The transfer terminal is chaotic. I was very moved by their help, although it’s maybe just a little help for them. I was moved because they help me, who is just a stranger, a single traveler, with very different face, cannot speak any their language.


The road to Khiva was much better.
Now, alone again.
Nobody can talk in the same language.
Suddenly, I think of….just a moment ago, the help from Mavluda and her mom…
I still hold my ragged book, with Mavluda’s name on some page inside, and her recommend of Turkish restaurant in Tashkent.
I watch the landscape outside car window, full of barren desert.
Suddenly feel a little sad.
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