Round the world,  Uzbekistan,  Warm blanket of sarcasm

Kilometer 15 559: how to become a broad-shouldered millionaire

Is your life a pursuit for wealth? Are you excited by the idea of taking a bath in a swimming pool filled with banknotes? Or maybe just a humble shopping spree with a briefcase full of money? This is a country made for you. Nowhere else can you become a millionaire so quickly.

Our budget for 3 days: 65$, 50 of which for trains. Do you know what 65 dollars look like? They take three banknotes. Three pale mint-coloured slips of paper. They will fit into the smallest wallet, the smallest pocket and the smallest hand. Has anyone ever used a rubber band to bind 65 dollars together? Have 65 dollars ever made you feel rich?

In Uzbekistan the highest value of a banknote is 1000 soms. Sometimes you may see a 5000 one, but it gets long and suspicious looks. 1000 soms equals 15 cents.

Piotrek exchanged the money and his chest got broader immediately. The quick weight gain around the inner pocket area made his jacket hard to zip up and the backpack belt way too tight. After all, it’s not worth getting a special money case for three days…

I looked around. Necessity is the mother of invention, people must have some ways to cope with the excessive amount of cash! A man carrying two backpacks walked past me. A lady got out of the bus with a handbag on her shoulder and a full carrier bag. A teenager nonchalantly threw a plastic bag over his shoulder. Rolls of banknotes were looking out of it like kids with their noses stuck to a foggy window pane.

With no better idea coming to us, we decided to spend the money as quickly as possible. A ticket office is a perfect spot for such a splurging expedition. Piotrek measured out an inch-thick pile of notes, passed it to the lady at the desk, the lady asked for double that amount, placed all of it in a banknote counter and printed our tickets from Urgench to Samarkand.

– Piotrek, how much money do we have left?

– I’d say almost 3 pounds – he replied with all his accuracy.



The film uses a fragment of Republika’s song “Mamona”.

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