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Although the capitals are less than 300 miles from one another, getting to Dushanbe, Tajikistan from Tashkent is no small feat. There are no direct flights because the governments don't get along. From Tashkent, we drove south four hours, crossed into Tajikistan and continued to the nearest Tajik city with an aiport, Khokand. We paid the extra $15 and sat in the first class waiting room and were served "espresso" (aka Nescafe in a demi-tasse). I actually saw an espresso machine there, but it wasn't working. Needless to say there was only one class on board.
Don't even ask what kind of plane it was...

The last time I was on a Soviet-built plane (a BIG ONE) I was flying cross-country over China. The plane was big and I was just glad I was aboard.

At least the view was spectacular. I couldnt help thinking of that movie about the Chilean soccer team that crashed into the Andes...