Sunday, 23 May 2004

Calling Ashgabat...

The hit counter I use for this blog also provides statistics which include an analysis of hits by time zones. From this I learn that about 39% of visitors to Other Men’s Flowers are from the East and West coasts of the USA (none from the Bible Belt), 27% from Europe, 26% from the Far East and Australia, and 6% from New Zealand. (Also, curiously, a tiny, almost uncountable, number from the zone which appears to cover only the eastern tip of Siberia: who is this man?)

It seems that my blog has been a complete flop in Central Asia. I would like to give it some appeal there, so I have been on the lookout for ripping yarns from Tajikistan, or rude poems in Turkmeni.

All my friends have come up with so far is a story from Steve Bagnall, who swears it is true. When he was visiting Tashkent some years ago he had an afternoon inspecting a very dull dam and then declined (as who would not?), an invitation to visit a cheese factory, and went to a school instead. The 12-year-olds seemed to be having many lessons in English and bombarded him with questions, mostly about football, and when he told them he came from Walthamstow one said “Oh yes, on the Victoria Line, the one after Blackhorse Road”.

It occurs to me, though, that if I do acquire some readers who live in Tashkent they might not find that an extraordinary story; perhaps they quiz each other on such things every evening as they sit round their gzchokas knocking back great mugs of styush.



Anonymous said...

What's this styush you mention? I lived in Tashkent for many years before returning to Chelmsford and I never heard of it.
G Inikat

Tony said...

It seems I used the wrong word. Styush is a fiery spirit made from fermented turnips, to which crushed carnation petals are sometimes added to give bitterness. It is drunk in the foothills of the Kugitang Mountains, usually accompanied by slivers of dried salted goat’s flesh. There is a similar drink popular in Tashkent but it is called tsbanye skrolud. Sorry for the error.

The Continental Op said...

Much of the "Bible Belt" is in the Eastern time zone, which covers most of the former Confederate states (Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas are in the Central time zone). But I doubt many Bible Belters read OMF. In fact, I doubt many of them read anything at all.

Tony said...

Well, yes. I wrote about all the Belts in
I do have a keen reader in Arkansas (
But, Continental Op, why are you prodding around in posts that I wrote nearly 3 years ago? I nthought you'd given up blogs.