By Christopher Aslan Alexander
The Silk highway conjures photographs of the unique and the unknown. such a lot travelers easily go alongside it. Brit Chris Alexander selected to dwell there. Ostensibly writing a guidebook, Alexander chanced on lifestyles on the center of the glittering madrassahs, mosques and minarets of the walled urban of Khiva - a distant barren region oasis in Uzbekistan - immensely captivating, and stayed. Immersing himself within the language and wealthy cultural traditions Alexander discovers an international torn among Marx and Mohammed - a spot the place veils and vodka, beef and polygamy freely mingle - opposed to a backdrop of forgotten carpet designs, crumbling yet really good Islamic structure and scenes drawn directly from "The Arabian Nights". observed by means of a wide eco-friendly parrot, a ginger cat and his adoptive Uzbek kinfolk, Alexander recounts his efforts to rediscover the misplaced paintings of conventional weaving and dyeing, and the method developing a self-sufficient carpet workshop, making use of neighborhood girls and disabled humans to coach as apprentices. "A Carpet trip to Khiva" sees Alexander being stripped bare at a former Soviet formative years camp, crawling via silkworm droppings in an try and list their life-cycle, holed up within the British Museum getting to know carpet designs dormant for part a millennia, tackling a carpet-thieving mayor, distinguishing average dyes from sacks of opium in Northern Afghanistan, bluffing his approach via an impromptu model of "My center Will cross On" for nationwide Uzbek television and looking sanctuary as an anti-Western insurrection ate up the Kabul carpet bazaar. it truly is an unforgettable precise trip tale of a trip to the center of the unknown and the unforeseen friendship one guy discovered there.
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Extra resources for Carpet Ride to Khiva
They nodded in my direction but were more concerned with pouring shots from a bottle in a paper bag, disgusted that their hosts had not provided vodka – their main motivation for being there. I picked up a slice of melon and discovered it had frozen. A live band blending keyboards and pre-programmed percussion with traditional stringed instruments and a large handheld drum performed a deafening repertoire, accompanied by a professional dancer in a glittery outfit covered in jangling metal tassels.
Later, tired of an oppressive government and unremitting propaganda, I simply explained that life was much better in England as no one had to pay a bribe for a job, or worry about arrest for what they believed. This naturally led to questions regarding the best way to get into the UK and what work opportunities there were for Uzbeks. I became friends with Rustam and Mukkadas, the pastor of the Urgench church and his wife. At this stage they were still happy to let foreign Christians worship with them, although later on, as the government became more anti-religious, they requested that we stop attending their meetings for fear of reprisals.
I became something of a prophet, foretelling Bobby’s imminent demise. ’ Zulhamar gasped, spitting to ward off any bad luck I might have incurred. Yet a few months later Bobby died as predicted. Zulhamar and some of our neighbours tearfully discussed the funeral around the local well, noting that no one wore white for mourning, there was no weeping over the coffin, and they even allowed women to attend the burial. My successful prediction was also considered, and I became something of a television seer, predicting Bobby’s return to life.
Carpet Ride to Khiva by Christopher Aslan Alexander