Beyneu has over 50.000 people, so it is not really a small town! My, very nice, hotel was just five minutes from the station. The taxi driver told me to put my seat belt on! Wow! In Uzbekistan, the drivers take offence if you put the seat belt on, as if you insult their driving skills!
I waited till the next morning to do my exploring.

According to my map, there was a museum near by. First I came across the market, which I love to wander through, explore and enjoy. I was craving fruit, which I haven’t been eating enough, so bought fresh plums, grapes and nectarines. People are much less friendly than in Uzbekistan! I always ask before taking photographs, but here people actually said NO! One woman got terrible upset, thinking that I took photos of her produce, which I never do without asking either! It took a kind young man to look at my ipad to convince her I did not ” illegally” photograph her sweets!

After four weeks in Uzbekistan this is extremely weird! For over three months I have not seen or heard this kind of behaviour! One young woman, spraying her plants, gave permission to take a picture of her plants, then asked if I would take one of her as well! She was Uzbek!

One stall sold some strange looking stuff, which I was not allowed to photograph. One was a black paste and one looked like mouse droppings. This young man showed me how to put the mouse droppings under my tongue, and then what!? I stood there looking stupid, until this foul taste hit me, I had to spit it all out as fast as I could! At least it entertained the local market! Spitting is a favourite past time here, so nobody looks up about that, local people use the same sound effects as in India. I think it was the faces I was pulling, that was entertaining them!

Anyway on to the museum, which was a derelict building, which has obviously been closed for the last two decades! Most houses, like Nukus, were empty! Strange, eerie and very boring to look at! I walked for about an hour. And decided that I wouldn’t stay beyond the two nights I needed to recover from the train trip. So late afternoon, back to the train station, booked and paid for a ticket, all in Russian, with Google translator! Worked on my blob, and drawings in my diary! Totally blissful, as nothing to be done! Hallelujah!

There were NO restaurants or eateries open! Hm! No dinner! Okay, fruit for dinner, and semi fasting, should be good for me right? It is Ramadan, so I can just join in! Woke up extremely hungry, also good, enjoy this empty feeling, there are lots of children in this world who don’t eat daily! Bought cherries and peanuts for the train! I don’t like eating while on the move, the less one has to use the toilet the better it is!

No breakfast on my second morning, okay, I am fine, starting to feel svelte! My brother Tom, called me from The Netherlands, and after a wonderful chat, I got dressed and left for the station.
The first class looks the same as the third class, but I do believe the mattress is slightly thicker! The white crispy sheets are a delight, the free coffee and tea appreciated! The toilet gets cleaned! Although still no paper, though!! Another ten hours of pure bliss! Meditation, catching up with e mails, and cross words! Good rest for my ankle!