20 September 2013

Friday night out

I have had this post kicking around in my drafts folder for months and I'm just going to publish it - it probably reads in a very disjointed fashion, as I've written bits of it over the last 4 months!

Here it is, unedited...

This is a post I started writing weeks ago (day 35 ish, where it's now day 53) and never finished it. As I write this I'm in the back of Daisy bouncing my way towards Bishkek for a final group meal, as almost all of the inhabitants of Daisy leave in Bishkek. I suspect that we'll hit a club after.
Update: we did hit a club after and an utterly awesome time was had.

I have no idea what day of the week it is without looking at my watch and I'm only vaguely aware of the date, but that's mostly because of writing this blog and needing to know when I was where - without that everything would be even more of a blur than it already is.

One of the interesting side effects of not having any dependency to the day of the week is that the concept of a "big" night out at the weekend doesn't apply - we may not being in a suitable place over the weekend or, more importantly, we may have driving the next day - dealing with a hangover whilst bouncing around in the back of a truck isn't something any other us want. As such our "let the hair down" nights are when we know we've got no driving the next day and nothing to get up early for.

This makes for an interesting issue... We are typically looking for a bigger night out in the middle of the working week and as such things are a lot quieter. Take Day 35 (29 May 2013)...

Having had a couple of beers with dinner and then stopping in to meet the other half of the group where they were eating (the group split into 2 for dinner - half going to the belly dancing place we'd gone to the night before, the other half finding a hole-in-the-wall to eat in) for another beer and to watch the locals dance (places which are dinner, dancing, dance shows and then more dancing are normal here - if nothing else it's a way to meet the opposite sex - although they are strangely interesting watching) here it way to clear that some of us weren't quite ready to call it quits at 2300 when things closed and wanted a later night, despite all being shattered from a day-long walking tour of Samarkant in 35+ degC heat. Thankfully our all knowing guide gave us directions to a local club which should be open later.

At this point a pro travelling tip: consider the benefits of carrying a torch in the evening, even if in a city - street lighting doesn't exist everywhere and walking down pothole lined streets in the dark is interesting. More so after a beer.

After walking around for a while in the back streets trying to find the place we were looking for and failing a local we had asked (pro tip: get names of places written down) was kind enough to walk us to the place as the otherwise surprisingly reliable sign language, which will be a blog post on its own at some point, hadn't worked.

It's as well he did, we'd walked past the club earlier and not noticed it - a very low key entrance, no people in the area, no sound leakage.

Having walked in we found that the place was decorated by someone who'd just watched the music video to Club Tropicana and then decided that a waterfall and foamy fountains were a good extra. Oh, and deep, dark, alcoves were a good thing too. "Odd" doesn't being to start describing it. 

We also found that the place was almost empty and thus the problem - when the days of the week have no meaning to you getting a "Friday" night out can be tricky. There simply hasn't been anywhere to go for some lively fun.

I say almost empty... There were three Uzbek guys who'd all recently got back from working in Brighton. It's a small world.
The club was open until about 0030, which was ok with us - there was nothing there worth staying for later.

As I write this I'm in Tashket, Uzbekistan's capital, and it's a Saturday night and we've got no driving tomorrow - we are all hoping to find some nightlife tonight.


We found the nightlife - after walking away from the first place (far too much to get in and the cars parked outside suggested that overlanders who, through necessity, have a different standard of cleanliness to others wouldn't be welcomed).
A short cab ride across the city later and we arrive at a much more suitable place (half knackered Ladas, not blinged-up (nice) cars) and we settled in for the night). 

Unlike the UK clubs I've been to (not many) and worked in (all one of them) tables had to be bought if you wanted a seat - our choices were standing by the bar or dancing. We chose a lot of the latter.

Dancing in walking boots isn't great, but sandals (my only other footwear) may not have got past the goons on the door.
A really good night was had by all; a much needed blowout after weeks of bouncing in Daisy.