Road to Dushanbe - Khushekat

Tajik Adventures, Part 4: The Painful Road to Dushanbe

At the close of my survival guide for Tajikistan, I promised you the world’s worst hotel. A place that puts to shame all of the first-world problems you might have encountered in the West, such as inadequate climate control, capricious hot water in the bathroom, or unresponsive TV — it offers none of those three luxuries. This place has […]

Khujand - Panjshanbe Bazaar

Tajik Adventures, Part 3: Khujand’s Panjshanbe Bazaar

In my previous Tajik Adventures post, we looked at the more pedestrian attractions of Khujand, Tajikistan’s second largest city: decrepit hotel Leninabad, the ill-fated Lenin statue, and Café Rashvan. So far, none of these features really justify a journey to that remote part of an already remote country. Enter Panjshanbe Bazaar, regularly mentioned on lists […]

Khojand - Lenin Statue

Tajik Adventures, Part 2: Khujand, Where Lenin Is Bad

Once upon a time, there was a country named Soviet Union. It was known, among other things, for its adoration of the great Vladimir Ilyich Lenin; its peculiar conception of art, known as socialist realism, and its insistence on making such art omnipresent in the lives of its citizens; its obsession with WW2 and its slightly distorted historical […]

Dushanbe - Shaftoluzor Restaurant - Qurtob

Qurutob, Tajikistan’s National Dish

Tajikistan claims mainly two national dishes: plov (aka osh), and qurutob. While plov is more famous and is also the national dish of neighboring Uzbekistan, qurutob, a mix of bread and onions in a yogurt sauce (with the occasional extra meat and vegetables), is specifically Tajik. Tajik culinary literature is pretty scarce. Pan-Soviet cookbooks typically […]