This photo of a news stand was taken in the Riga airport. What is difficult to see is that the newspapers to the left are folded in half or thirds...so there are two or three to each level. Very poor merchandising. However, this is better than what I have seen so far in Dushanbe. I have been here almost a day and a half and only seen one sales location and that was in a supermarket. Nothing being sold on the street.
I am sitting here typing away and listening to Christmas music I brought with me. Today was sunny and bright, cool but not cold. Very lovely and so, I took a walk before my lunch meeting. I left at 10 a.m. after visiting with two guys over breakfast who work for the Asian Development Bank, similar to the World Bank. Anyway, I walked for an hour and then decided to come back so I could clean up before lunch. An hour out, an hour back.
HA. I got lost and then, very scared. I, the world traveller, left the room with no contact information and no one speaks English so I couldn't ask for directions, though, Lord knows, I tried. I finally asked three cab drivers and the third, who also did not understand me, took my hand and walked to shops to ask for an English speaker. We finally found one who didn't know the Mercury Hotel but he was able to call someone else who did and was able to direct my cab driver. I paid 10 Somoni, which included a tip to this guy. About $3.00 and he was all smiles and so was I. Truly I have been blessed...people always have horrid travel stories of robberies, muggings, theft and worse. I keep meeting honest, hard working, caring people. And for that, I am thankful.