Adventure on the Great Silk Road: A Bazaar Like No Other
“Dolls! Carpets! These beautiful boxes! Come and buy now! Cheap prices! Great prices!” someone shouted loudly.
Before they could get a sense of where they were, a young girl dressed like Jasmine from the Disney flick jumped in front of them with a big, wide grin.
“My friends! Come, let me show you around the bazaar! Maybe you’d like some gold jewellery or perhaps a puppet?” The young girl held Teyus’s hand, pulling him into the crowds.
“Wait! Stop!” said Mira quite firmly, pulling her cousin back. Her instincts told her this girl was not to be trusted.
“Oh, come on Mira! Let’s go check out the bazaar” urged Teyus, who was just happy to be holding hands with such a pretty girl.
“What a beautiful place this is!” exclaimed Hari, surveying the beautiful buildings that surrounded the market. Intricate blue and cyan tiles (cyan is just a fancy name for the colour of the sea) with gold inlays made for extraordinary designs. “Where are we?” he finally asked.
Very carefully, Mira pulled out the Anulap. She took great effort in concealing exactly how she did it. Teyus’s new ‘friend’ was making her uncomfortable and she couldn’t help but to think about the conversations she had recently with her grandmother about safeguarding valuable possessions.
The Anulap read:
‘Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 1440 AD. Welcome, you are in Registan on a Friday’.
“What’s Registan?” Mira muttered, distracted between the buildings, the Anulap and the strange girl who seemed to have immediately captivated Teyus. Carefully, she put the Anulap into bag and fastened the hook on it as tight as she could. Something made her feel very uneasy.
“This is Registan!” exclaimed the girl, twirling herself around. She continued, “The most beautiful square in all the world! Look at the marble floor. It’s like a beautiful carpet made of intricate tiles. And look at the beautiful gate behind us. Our king, Ulug Beg, had the best artists from around the world come to Registan and build it.”
“Wow!” exclaimed all the travellers together. The girl’s claims made Hari think of the Taj Mahal, the place where he had last seen his family.
The pretty girl interjected, “My name is Firuza which means turquoise, just like the precious stone and the colour of these beautiful tiles.”
“A most beautiful name!” exclaimed Teyus. Mira and Hari rolled their eyes in unison, unimpressed.
The noise from the busy Friday market was evident now. They saw people selling just about anything you could imagine. Well, anything you could imagine from the 1400’s.
There was a carpet vendor shouting “Carpets from Afghanistan and Bukhara! And one from Iran!” There were people selling bread, rabbits and hats and dresses and even one guy selling cooked rice which smelled amazing to the hungry travellers.
Firuza tugged Mira’s bag and said, “This is old, isn’t it? Give it to me and buy yourself a new one.” A look for horror came across Mira’s face as she gripped the bag even tighter. Sensing his pal was getting a bit stressed, Hari put his hand around Mira and assured her everything was safe, at least for the moment.