So we made it into Uzbekistan after an intensive check at the border. We stayed in Nukus, the largest town near the border. Unfortunately we didn’t know that there are almost no ATMs at all in the country. And especially not in Nukus. So we had to exchange some of our reserve dollars into the local soums. An experience by itself. We handed the money dealer a US $100 note and got three huge packs containing 300 one-thousand som bills back. A bit strange but at least we have money. We explored the town and went for dinner in the evening. Deciding to get the drink of the day in a shop rather than in the restaurant to save money we drove of to find a market that has what we need. With no luck. Apparently licences to sell alcohol in Uzbekistan are hard to get. So I brought Semi back to our hotel (she was still not feeling well) and went back to the restaurant. They were out of beer so two nice Uzbeks invited me to join them and help with their bottle of vodka.
It was Ideal Vodka. It had the usual 40% and was of course clear. The two fellows poured me a huge “Russian” shot (100ml) and I downed it in one go. It smelled like vodka, it tasted like vodka, it was vodka. Not particularly disgusting, not particularly nice. The second shot was a bit harder to drink but overall not a bad vodka.