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Welcome to Uzbekistan. First impressions from a naive American perspective.

It's been slightly over 24 hours since we landed in Uzbekistan. 24 hours but thousands of impressions. The way of life here is just so different from back home in the states. You see it from your first step into a home. Not even the home, but outside of it.

We stayed at an apartment in a suburban village. The apartment buildings are uniform, each with a number on a blue rectangle. 80, 79, 78, etc. The building itself is blocky, brick, white, and very reminiscent of Soviet times (if you've seen the Russian Soviet comedy The Irony of Fate, you know what I'm talking about).

When you walk into the building, there's 4 doors on the 1st floor, and up a set of dusty stairs, 4 more. The doors themselves were huge, heavy, extending from one end to the other of each wall end. To open it, we insert a long silver key (what you only see in movies these days in America) and twist left, which moves an iron bar from the inside, that blocks the door.

As for the apartment itself, it was quite nice as there was remodeling recently. The air conditioning was only in the living room, so as soon as you stepped out into a bedroom or the bathroom, you're hit with a blast of humidity.

Speaking of the bathroom, many don't have sinks. You wash your hands and brush your teeth in the tub, which also has no showerhead that's attached to the wall. Whether the water is hot or cold is not in your control. On one hot day, all we had was scorching hot water. To shower that day, I had to fill a bucket of water, wait for it to cool down, and scoop out the warm water.

Despite this, I wouldn't hop on the next flight back. Because it's not that bad once you get accustomed to it. If you think about it, a tub and a sink serve the same purpose. And why install a keypad when the key still works? I think I'm learning that we in the modernized world have found problems in the smallest things. These fixes in these small inconvencies are a privelege which we in America take for granted so much we don't even think of them. Yet, so many people here live a life we couldn't imagine.

Scroll through the slideshow below to see some pictures! Hover over each picture for the caption.

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