One thing patrik couldnt fix was chris lightswitch. Actually he was driving without front light since we left shanghai. His front leds where working instead and annoyed everybody who came towards us. Patrik told us about a booth at the bazar who could have a replacement. In stock. We ended up driving the shopowner trough the whole town to hunt down the desired switch. Not so easy in a country where nobody drives motorbikes. We didnt find it in the end but the shopowner gave us a huge glas of cherry jam instead. Not to bad. We said rachmat (thank you) and left to the border. Today was uzbekistan day.
Uzbekistan is the richest on silk road history and in cash in the stans as it has the superold cities samarkant, bukhara and khiva. On the other hand it is still a dictatorship and i heard its next to impossible for western journalists to get a visa for the country. As we are bloody tourists we had no problems. The border has a reputation to be the most strict to cross in the stans. After turkmenistan - but we are not going there. The borderguards where all very friendly but they still checked our luggage carefully. Mainly they where checking for forbidden substances in our medipacs and for porn or religious documents on our laptops. Honestly i think they guys where quite disappointed that they didnt find any porn. It can also get really bad at the uzbek border. Apparently there is a medication against flight sickness that is very common in the west. The substance is forbidden in uzbekistan and if you happen to have this in your medipac you go straight to jail.. No 500 dollars. No crossing start. After two hours running from office to office they let us go.... Not without reminding us to not spread any porn or religion in their country. "Ok officer. We will try our best not to do so....Rachmat!"
After a long tiring day on straight straight roads and loads of police checks we arrived in Kokand and checked into a hotel for the night. As a tourist you need to register every 72 hours in a hotel so the police can track down where u spent your time in uzbekistan. Some say you should do this every day but we intended not to as hotels in uzbekistan are quite pricey. And another thing,,, there are no ATMs in this country. You can just exchange money in the banks for a horrible rate or you do that illegally for a better rate at the black market. We got our first uzbek SOMS from the hotels receptionist. The biggest note they have is a 1000 SOM note. When u exchange 100 USD into SOMS and one SOM equals 300 som you can imagine how huge the pile of cash is you have to carry around with u. We are used to having a lot of bills in our wallets by living in china... But this lifts it to a whole new level of ridicilousness. You see... Lots of useless rules. Thats why uzbekistan resembled in our mind at the china of the stans. A difference is the food. Shaslyk is the best choice. Stuffy and delicious.... I could eat it every day. So that night we where of to a delicious shaslyk dinner and called it a night.