this week i

published a journal article about what the medicaid expansion means for people with diabetes.  better access to doctors, lower out-of-pocket spending, that's what.

made some friends at the uzbek border.

practiced my russian.  i seem pretty obnoxious in this video, but that car ride had a lot of golden-toothed smiles.

 stopped for nothing in tashkent.  covered bazaars look nice from afar, but who wants to shop?

ate shashlik, more shashlik.  sheep fat, onions, vinegar, crushed pepper, cold stale bread, repeat.

wonder if they serve classic italian fare or koopa troopa burgers.  anything but more shashlik.

don't understand the economics behind the uzbek black market.  their largest bill worth about thirty cents, my one ben franklin traded for a pocketful of this.

like the city names, to put it mildly.

made for samarkand samarqand.  q's without u's, so rebellious.

whispered under my breath, "woah."  regi-stan means "sandy place" in tajik, but translating that prefix from latin or sanskrit might do it more justice.

saw that.  do you see this?  mammoth.
wonder how we can ruin it.  oh, i have an idea!

missed the symbolism behind human faces on tigerbacks.

pleased the locals by taking some pictures.  seriously you two, you live in a tourist trap of a city.  how are you still excited by seeing a foreigner?

enjoyed the monuments, cold be damned.  central asian winter: tourist-free.

have seen spoiled pets, but never before pampered trees.
felt overwhelmed by the majesty of it all.  found solace by buying, eating that bird.  when you don't speak the language, the restaurant staff will let you into the kitchen to point at things.  and all this time, you thought my monolingualism was unintentional.

 woke up for day two in samarkand samarquand samarqand.  do you see this?  i saw this.

have one request for these mausoleums: lose the electricity/use candlelight.

love dan savage more than usual.  best line: you're a journalist, not a stenographer.

rode the sharq northwest.  there's that mischievous unbuffered q again.

exited the train.  this is how they look at you when you exit the train.  most people ignore you.  a few look at you as if to say, "why are you taking my picture while exiting the train?"  a nice feeling, really.

wandered through bukhara, a living museum.

entered a land of plenty.

shared a taxi, still north, still west, still cold, still beautiful.