This is a short tale of curiosity and having the patience of a Saint… which unfolded in the walled city of Khiva in Uzbekistan.
The picture above is one of my favourites from my travels – it won’t win any prizes, but it is a little memory I’ll always have and also demonstrates one of the things I discovered travelling.
Curiosity – children everywhere in the world are fascinated with us ‘foreigners’ whether it is what we look like, the way we speak, what we do or the strange things we bring into their world.
I love the way the photograph captures these Uzbek school kids trying to work out what all the little toys and souvenirs are that were on the truck’s dashboard. I like the way the little girl is stretching to see inside. And no wonder as there were all manner of things including a blow up dolphin and a smurf!
I’d just returned from looking around Khiva and came upon this scene. The cab of the truck was leaning forward because Dave, one of our drivers, had it open to work on the engine. This allowed the kids to see into the front window.
It was quite funny as the kids had clearly just left off school and the unusual sight of a strange foreigner in oily overalls repairing a big orange and white truck was an irresistible distraction.
Dave must have the patience of a ‘Saint’ because a couple of the kids kept interrupting his work by tugging on his trouser leg and asking about the strange things on the dashboard. Every now and then he had to go around to the front of the truck to find out what they wanted.
It was pretty funny – well for me and the kids anyway…