In Uzbekistan, if you take a shared taxi, there’s a premium for the front seat. I had agreed to pay 15 USD for the luxury given it would be a 5+ hour long journey from Bukhara to Urgench and then to Khiva. Plus it was Eid, else I could have saved about 2-3 USD more. The driver was a garrulous old man who started off with a warm handshake and didn’t stop singing and dancing till the car stopped. I had pretty much memorized most famous Uzbek songs thanks to him as the town-scape turned to desert-scape while the car chugged on. Khiva is a town that refused to age and is used as a gateway by most travelers to visit the famous Khorezm oasis and beyond. The best part of my journey had just begun, I was ready and armed with my loyal sunscreen.