Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ahhhh, Istanbul

Our Tajik adventure is over. It was sad to leave all our friends behind. We spent most of our last day having friends over for tea and we even played some music and danced. The next morning we got up early, and with the help of our favorite neighbor, Nigina, found a taxi to the airport where we were met by Safina and Maruf to see us off. The Dushanbe airport was an experience and well worth the $40 to be able to say Andy bribed a Tajik passport officer in the Dushanbe Airport bathroom in order to get on the plane (he had a correction on his visa when it was issued, but it didn't have the offical stamp and signature . . . long story) but the flight was smooth and the food was even better than on British Airways, which isn't saying much. Upon landing in Istanbul, it was refreshing to have a burracratic-free visa process . . . just 20 bucks and a stamp and that's it. To save a few bucks we took the metro and light rail to Sultanahmet, lugging our overweight packs and bags the whole way. We went back to our friends at Mavi Guesthouse, where we stayed in June. They could only offer us dormatory style or the smallest double room ever. So we took the double room. Written in small letters in pencil on the inside of the door were the words, "Loser. You ended up in this room." and "This was the prision in Midnight Express." The next day we went out in search of a nice room where Sonja can finish her thesis, preferably one with a window where two people can stand up at the same time. We ended up finding a sweet room at the Stone Hotel that was not only within our dwindeling budget (thanks to Sonja's barganing skills) but with tons of space for Sonja to work, our own bathroom with hot water, a view overlooking one of Sultanahmet's many mosques, a super nice stone courtyard, and it's warm.
We'll be here for the next two weeks. Working, relaxing, and trying to ignore the harassing street vendors . . . "Excuse me sir! Where are you from? Can I show you my carpets? Please, madam. Just one look!"

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Kheli Agib Ast!

Our last hurrah in Tajikistan. Here it is folks, our long anticipated Tajik television debut performance. The first bit of footage is from a rehersal and interviews at Theatre Padida. The second bit is from a studio performace at the TV station later that same day. We actually recorded four pieces, but they just showed the one number on TV (and we unfortunately missed recording the introduction and first interview).