In exactly 6 days time, I will be lying belly up on my grandmother’s sofa, indulging in pleasant nonsense of yet another novel and humming “ I am wicked and I am lazy”. That’s right folks. I am headed home.  This isn’t however a vacation that has been carefully planned and budgeted for. (That doesn’t sound like me, does it?). About three weeks ago, it dawned on me that my external visa is expiring in January, and I urgently need to head back to Uzbekistan to have it renewed. Lo and behold, the irrational, inconvenient to say the least, bureaucratically bound laws of Uzbekistan. We, citizens of this humorous land must acquire permission to LEAVE the country. It’s a little nuisance of a sticker that is valid for two years and must get renewed consequently after. Otherwise as it says in big fat bold English (!!!) letters “the passport is not valid for visiting any country of the word”.  I might also run into trouble when trying to enter the country with an expired external visa- hence it is just less hassle to go and sort it out immediately.
At first I did not love the thought of leaving for 10 days- it felt like I was being snatched from normality and thrown headfirst into a pile of icy cold surrealism. The idea has however grown on me and I am welcoming the opportunity to go back home and see the family yet again, this time under calmer circumstances. When we last visited in August 2010, the mere 16 days have turned into a remake of Lemony Snicket’s : A Series of Unfortunate Events.  It was the vacation that will forever be remembered as “ A family reunion, a wedding and a funeral” . This time around I would be most grateful for a dull, uninspiring, conservative visit back home. Nothing has to happen for all I care- I just want to be there. I look forward to going for long walks, visiting my university, having heartwarming conversations with my grandmother, seeing my closest friends and godson and indulging in national cuisine. As they say a traveler seeks adventures and welcomes thrills, a tourist merely goes sightseeing. Well, this time I am the tourist.
As long as I survive the flight back all else is expected to go smoothly. I tend to lose my patience with the local Uzbek airlines and I insist that if any of you ever travel to Uzbekistan- fly via Turkish airlines. That way you will not gain a negative impression of the country- before you even land. However, if arrogant stewardesses, questionable food and rattling planes are your piece of pie you are welcome onboard of Uzbekistan Airlines! (They should hire me as Marketing Director, don’t you reckon?)
Air stewardess: “Lunch?”

Husband: “Yes please, what are my choices?”

Air stewardess: “Well, we have chicken…and…chicken”

Here I must however mention that if it wasn’t for the convenience and the helpful lady working in the representative office in Dubai- I would be walking to Uzbekistan next week! An atrocious travel expectation aside all else looks promising in Cotton Land.

I have recruited an army of thermal clothing, purchased kick ass boots and a majestic amount of Omani dates to take back home. I plan to sleep, read, eat and do absolutely nothing else. At least, that is the initial plan…watch this space…