Food. I was told it would be better in Osh, because the Uzbeks are renowned in the region for their skills at preparing it. All of the hype surrounding Uzbek food reminded me of being in Jordan, constantly stuffing my face with hummus while the brats who had been to Lebanon or Syria would just sigh, unable to comprehend how such a short distance could mangle their beloved Levantine-style hummus.
But, unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. The worst part of the trip (other than the cold weather, unheated restaurants, lack of real coffee, and the flight back home) was that I didn’t eat enough Uzbek food. My only dinner in the city was wasted on Osh’s “nicest” restaurant, a billowing, yurt-shaped luxury lounge, that, despite its five-page menu, only had three dishes available: chicken covered in cheese, kebab covered in mayonnaise, and fries.
No plov. Only one samsa. The only notable meal was a big bowl of lagman after a rally in Lenin Square. Doughy noodles, spicy broth, and a lot more character than the lagman I’ve eaten in Bishkek.
And there was this cute little dish I ate for post-flight breakfast. I took a picture of the meal (and the first of many instant coffees) thinking it would be a bit more memorable. Now it just serves as a reminder, “Hey look! Remember when I ate breakfast in Osh?”
Another reason we’ll have to go back in the summer.