Time: 1:35 p.m. Place: Dushanbe city, Shah Mansour district. Cost: 6 somoni (approximately $1.45).
There’s something special about a Tajik-style hot dog. It isn’t the dog itself, which is a garden variety turkey dog that’s been steamed. And while the bun is okay, and certainly better than many American buns (though not reaching the heights of awesomeness of a New England-style hot dog bun), it’s nothing to write home (or on a blog) about. Rather, it is the sauce, or I should say, the sauces — for a Tajik dog invariably is topped with both a weirdly spicy ketchup and a weirdly watery mayonnaise — and the shredded carrots that make it something different and cool. Okay, cool may be too strong, but it definitely different and it is pretty tasty too.
That my Tajik-style hot dog was accompanied by an RC cola and some bizarre chicken-flavored salty, crispy snack, just brings the meal up a notch. Add to this that the total cost was significantly under two dollars, and you can see why this meal just may be one of the things I miss the most about Tajikistan when I leave. This and the mountains and the expats and the tree-lined streets and the odd happenstances. But the Tajik dog is up there.
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An apology: my posting here has been dilatory. Expect it to improve. In case you were wondering, things in TJ are great and November was a terrific month for me, so nothing bad was keeping me from this blog. Just being busy and being lazy in roughly equal measure.