What’s up in Ferghana?

So, we have some potential route changes due to current events in Central Asia.  As this news hasn’t been in any mainstream media that I’ve heard, I thought I’d share it with folks.  In response to a suicide bombing on May 26th in the far eastern Uzbek city of Andijon, Uzbekistan has closed its border with Kyrgyzstan, as that is where they believe the bombers came from.  Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan all have border disputes around the Ferghana Valley, with each country maintaining ownership of enclaves in the other countries.  Border guards seem to be forever capturing each other, shooting each others’ citizens, and building arbitrary walls.  Given all this, at the moment we are sadly considering to bypass Kyrgyzstan.   I, for one, have always wanted to eat Osh Palov in Osh, but unless the Uzbeks relent and start letting people through to the other side, it looks like that dream will have to go unrealized.  All this is to say, “See mom?  I’m not completely disregarding my own personal safety!”

Looking up the Shakhimardan towards Kyrgyzstan

Looking up the Shakhimardan towards Kyrgyzstan

As a p.s., it’s not actually too dangerous for Americans to be traveling in Uzbekistan.  We’d have to be more worried if any of us looked Muslim (we’ll have to make sure Anand shaves…).  Although it’s ostensibly a Muslim country, the government is staunchly atheist and has done much to try to suppress the post-Soviet resurgence of Islam.

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