Day 6 – On the aircraft it’s bedlam and as people push and fight for the seats

Travel Day – Almaty, Kazakstan to Tashkent, Uzbekistan] 06sunset.gifThe time in Almaty has been a fantastic beginning to the Musical Nomad. Despite satellite problems, a dodgy diet and oppressive heat the music has sustained us all. It’s 4.15 in the morning and we have been back on the road for over four hours. We are at the airport and some decidedly dodgy dealing is going on.

Some official has just run off with our air tickets and everybody is pushing for kickbacks to get the Musical Nomad equipment on the tiny jet assigned to take us to Tashkent. At 5.30 am we stand on the steps of the aircraft, finally poised to board, one of the aircrew demands “50 dollars or you don’t get on.” We reluctantly succumb.


On the aircraft it’s bedlam and as people push and fight for the seats. The in-flight catering consists of a bottle of water and some paper cups.

I land safely in Tashkent, the best is yet to come. The ground crew refuse to unload the plane and I find myself part of a human chain. The Musical Nomad crew become ‘Tashkent Ground Services Limited’ and we offload not just our stuff, but everybody else’s! Gary, our multimedia whizz, is also a registered giant and thinks nothing of hauling four cases at a time. Paul said ‘You see life in the new BBC.’

06jantsh.gifIt’s all part of the adventure. Tomorrow that includes meeting Uzbekistan’s foremost singer, Munadjat Yulchieva, I’m full of anticipation – I may play the flute with her, I’m trying to learn about the Shash Maqam (six modes). Log on tomorrow and hear how I get on.

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