Wednesday, May 22, 2013
My friend Timour sent me this excellent documentary about the origins and transformation of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. I traveled to Tashkent first in 1993 for about two weeks. Then, in 1994, I returned there to live - and teach English. I stayed about nine months in all. And, in 1998, for my two-week vacation from the bank where I was working in Alabama, I flew back to Tashkent - for a walk down memory lane and a chance to see my old friends and students. All three experiences were life-changing in their own ways. I learned a lot about myself, initially, and then everything expanded out from there. I started becoming more and more curious about the world, and I realized how little I really knew about other places and societies. Humbled in those early days - and indeed, still - I was a little resistant at first (at least subconsciously), and believed the lie (or illusion) that I knew more than I really did. But rather than stay where I was, or perhaps even retreat back to "comfort places," I gradually decided that I wanted to discover more. That's the path I remain on to this day.