Talking About Stan

by

Insanely tired… short post only…

At April’s hanami bento making event, I met two doctors from Viet Nam and Uzbekistan. They seemed far more interesting than the average teacher in Japan, so I was looking forward to meeting them again. Today I had that chance; they gave speeches similar to mine, but exclusively about their homelands.

Our initial conversation revealed my great ignorance of Uzbekistan, so I was really excited to hear that speech. Viet Nam is also interesting, but my ignorance is far more limited in that case; having worked and socialized with a number of Vietnamese people.

One surprise about Uzbekistan was the average summer temperature being over 40 C, but the winter average being under -23 C. I have dealt with these extremes before, but living with them both every year might be a bit too much. Another surprise was the speaker’s feeling that almost all of his countrymen regretted the downfall of the Soviet Union. They have a very high literacy rate and GDP compared to the Stans to the south, which we helped keep out of the USSR. All in all, it sounds like a very interesting country to visit (except for the rarity of heaters and air conditioners.)

The land of Tamerlane and of Alexander’s wife, who wouldn’t want to check it out?

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