The Burqa

Nasreddin on his donkey
A statue for Nasreddin in the center of Bukhara

Nasreddin Hodja’s first marriage was an arranged marriage, and in keeping with the custom of the time, he did not see his unveiled bride until the wedding ceremony. Unfortunately, she did not have an attractive face.

The next day when the bride was making preparations to go to market, she asked her husband, as was the custom, “Shall I wear my burqa? I do not wish to show my face to anyone against your wishes.”

Nasreddin answered, “Wear your burqa or leave it at home. It is all the same to me to whom you show your face in public. All I ask is that you keep your face covered when you are at home with me.”

Hodja Nasreddin Afandi is the beloved character of many stories and witty jokes around the Middle East and Turkey and even in Western China. Uzbeks believe he lived in Bukhara, a beautiful city along the silk road where wonderful people who tell his stories live.

You can find a couple more Nasreddin stories in his wikipedia page.

Internet? Noooo, we don’t have that here, sir

Wow! It’s been a week since my last post and that one was about Russia. That’s two countries ago! The internet has been getting scarcer and scarcer ever since Beyneu where only one of the hotels had wifi (and it wasn’t the one I was staying). On the desert camps I don’t really count on the internet but in cities I expect some connectivity. Khiva was alright, slow but available while in Bukhara not only there was very few hotspots but everyone was pretty stingy about them. I figure they pay by the megabyte and want to keep their connection for their own customers. Anyway, Bukhara was great for many other reasons and most of the time I didn’t care about the internet. Now I’m in Samarqand and they have electrical problems, the connection keeps resetting itself every half an hour or so. I almost feel bad asking the hotel guy to get up and go reset the router every time.