Fourth and last day in Andijon. Our skeletal team will remain while they await reinforcements from Amsterdam, but it’s time for me and my database manager to go back to our chronic crisis in Nukus. We’re sitting in the Andijon airport and expecting lots of people because there are 4 planes on the tarmac. But as I look closer, only one is a passenger plane, the others are cargo planes (no windows).
As we fly to Tashkent, I imagine we cross the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, multiple times. We had arrived in Andijon by car from Tashkent. We took a road that cut through the mountains –through two tunnels. During Soviet times people used another road that cut straight across, because there were no borders. That road is in disrepair now as it’s never used. The older people I’ve talked to recount that these conflicts at borders never happened during Soviet times. I don’t think they’re yearning for the previous system. But perhaps it’s a recognition that different types of people lived here together long before the lines were drawn.