Traveling westward through mountain passes and endless checkpoints along this ancient trading route, I met many warm and welcoming people. I drank fermented mareās milk with potato farmers in Kyrgyzstan, I ate apricots from the trees and sat cross-legged on the floor with women cleaning freshly spun silk cocoons in Uzbekistan. And I spoke French with a chain-smoking, bearded artist in a tea house in Iran. The people I met were often as curious about me as I was about them! Particularly memorable is the day I toured Bukhara then visited the homes of three girls who offered to guide me that day. Dressed in traditional Uzbek clothing and western-style T-shirts and jeansand speaking near-perfect English and Frenchthey eagerly introduced me to their families. Then they played a cassette and danced.
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