Sitting at the Iternet Cafe in Khiva Uzbekistan

The battery for my minicomputer has died so the clerk at the cafe has offered her computer to me. This is so nice of her. I fact, I have found all of the people here to be extremely gracious, friendly and content with their lives, perhaps the reason for their grsaciousness. Two days ago we were at a restaurant for lunch and a wedding party arrived. The bride's mother invited us to move to the front of the group so we could take photographs of the bride. Again such graciousness.

I haven't had time to tell you about the wedding and the double weddng after that, both following the old traditions of the country. The bride wears a full veil made of long strands of braided silk and a gown of heavy brocade covered with jewels and silver. The gown is so heavy that she has difficulty walking with it and the strings on the veil are so wide that she really can't see. She is guided by a solicitous hamdsome groom on one side and a friend on the other. I will wait to fully describe the couple until I can send out some photos. We were very lucky to have been there at that moment.

Later that day we went to the stable where the Ahalteke horses are trained. These are beautiful horses with extremely slim legs who are trained for racing. Their coats can be white, brown or golden and the gold reflects the sun. The trainer offered to permit one of us to ride. I rode as the son walked me around what served as the ring area. Eventually he let me control the horse. The ride was as smooth as any Tennessee Walker.

I do not want to take up too much time on the woman's computer so I will close. More about this 15th century town built on the 7th century city of the Zoroastrians after I charge my computer.

Filed under: Uzbekistan

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  • be certain to plug in the computer every evening. In reality, if you are doing a lot of internet work with it it will run down the battery quite rapidly. The times they give you for battery life tend to be based on the laptop just sitting there and doing no processing.

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    Carolyn Boiarsky

    " I am an American," but not "Chicago born" like Augie March. Only Chicago aged. I'd like to think that if Henry Louis Gates were to investigate my geneology, he would discover in my past three women who traveled around the globe, chronicling their adventures. Sarah Kemble Knight traveled 112 miles by carriage from Boston to New York in 1704, a journey most women did not embark on alone (and men did so only with some trepidation). In fact, women were only just beginning to exercise their independence in the 1920's when Emily Kimbrough took off with her friend, Cornelia Otis Skinner, to explore Europe. But it is Auntie Mame, transforming herself from a New Yorker to the wife of an Austrian Baron and climbing the Matterhorn, whose mantra I have adopted. "LIFE IS A BANQUET...LIVE!" I began travelling in the 1960's when I traveled around western Europe between graduating from the Univiersity of Pennsylvania and my first job as a statehouse correspondent for UPI (United Press International) in Charleston, West Virginia, which was about as foreign a place as Europe was to someone who grew up in the environs of Philadelphia. Since then, I've also travelled to Kaunas, Lithuania, to teach at Vytautus Magnus University and to Sheffield, England, to present a paper at an engineering conference. I've been to the Alps and seen Auntie Mame's Matterhorn while climbing, by a series of cable cars rather than by foot, toward the peak of Mont Blanc. For the past 10 years my husband and I have been traveling to unique places: a sheep farm during lambing season in England's Lake Country, a hotel on one of the Barromeo Islands in the middle of Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy, and a cottage in Dun Quin on the Dingle Peninsula which the Irish claim is the last parish before Boston. Between excursions, I'm a professor in the Department of English at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Indiana,. My husband passed away recently and, Auntie Mame-style, I am in the process of transforming myself. Last year I joined a tour to Central Asia. This year I'm going to China to work with the pandas. A new adventure. Another banquet.

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