Thursday, August 7, 2008

Powerbar Reprieve

Mike's new hotel is closer to the center of town and has less rabid dogs prowling the perimeter. There is also a grocery within walking distance, for which he is very grateful. And he also has a trickle of internet, for which I am grateful--otherwise there'd be no new batch of photos to show my precious TRAVELMONKEYS readers.

This is the entrance to the huge outdoor market.

Tajikistan may not be a haven for foodies, but their melons are out of this world--and twice as big as any you've ever laid eyes on, unless you were in Central Asia. He says the raisins are extraordinary, too: big and plump and wholly different than any he's tasted before.

This cream soda was recommended to him by a woman from the embassy. Mike is a connoisseur of cream soda, and he judges this one to be extraordinary. He suspects they use real vanilla and real sugar.

When Mike sends photos, they're often accompanied by text telling me what things he didn't take pictures of. In the previous batch, it was the many street urchins. In this batch, it was the piles of meat covered in thick layers of flies and the guy pulling the backbone of some creature out of an enormous carcass while blood splattered everywhere. Keep in mind this is an open market, 110 degrees out, no refrigeration. I'm guessing you always want to order your meat very well done.

These fish, on the other hand, were refrigerated. This picture was not taken at the open market but at the grocery near his hotel. The most amazing this is what happened right after he snapped this shot: He got recognized by someone who saw "How Theater Failed America" at the Public this spring. This guy was backpacking from Bangladesh to Istanbul and stopped in Dushanbe to get some supplies, and boy was he surprised to see Mike Daisey there, taking photos of fish heads. Almost as shocked as Mike was.

And this is a picture of Mike's loot. He itemized it for me: "3 liters of fizzy water, a palette of grapes, chocolate milk, an apple (green, firm), and some cookie/pastry things that look and smell delicious." Not pictured: a large bag of raisins.


Sheila said...

love these posts.

love esp. the food pix.

JM said...

Thanks, Sheila. Nice to know someone is watching. (Looking? Seeing? Observing my updates?)