Adventure on the Great Silk Road: The Meaning of The 3 Dots
Firuza eventually led them to a Choyxona (In Uzbekistan, a Choyxona is a café which sells tea). They sat down on large cushions which were atop, plush carpets on the floor of the café.
A server dressed in white robes came by and poured green tea from a beautiful bronze tea pot. He wore an interesting outfit which to Mira and Hari, looked like multiple layers of bathrobes. They drank from quaint, ceramic cups which had the same blue and cyan designs that adorned the building at Registan.
“You only get one pot of tea, so budget it well”, said the server as he walked away.
While they were drinking tea, Teyus told Firuza all about their journeys and how they were trying to get Hari home. Hari then showed her the silk handkerchief they had gotten in Quito, the one with strange emblem showing a circle with three dots.
“Hey!” exclaimed Firuza, “That’s the coat of arms for the Timurids! This symbol was worn by the army that fought for our great leader, Timur.”
“Timur the Lame!” exclaimed Teyus, who we all know is a history buff.
“Yes!” retorted Firuza with great pride in her eyes. “He was the greatest ruler in all of Central Asia and he did this with a lame leg and a bad shoulder. In our land, we love him even more for this!”
The travellers wondered why a mariachi from Ecuador would send them to find out about Timur’s army. It didn’t make any sense and they had no clue what to look for or where to start.
Firuza chimed in. “Oh, I know exactly who can help you with this, but what will you give me if I help you?” Mira was a bit shocked at this request. They were slowly getting used to bribing people to help as with Saul in Italy. She learned the secrets of making good trades from her grandmother, but right at this very moment, she couldn’t remember any of it.
Mira rolled her eyes again and offered Firuza a deal, “If we get the information we need, as well as a clue about where to go next, we will give you this handkerchief.”
The other travellers looked a bit shocked at what Mira had offered but they had nothing else to barter with, at least nothing they could part with. They had to get as much information as they could out of that one handkerchief.
“Are you from Samarkand?” asked Teyus, now trying to figure out more about this girl. He thought about offering his multi-purpose pocket knife instead of the handkerchief but he didn’t have another one at home.
“No” replied the girl. “I am from the kingdom way up north, where the mountain cliffs are steep, the water is deep and it is mostly covered in ice. One day, I stole a book from a great wizard who was so angry, he wanted to kill me on the spot. But my baby brother cried in fear so instead, he put a curse on me. I fell into a vortex that could have taken me anywhere in the world and I landed at a spot many days journey from here. Unlike Hari, I think I am in the same time period however, since I landed, I am trying to get back north to see my family. You see, it is very far from here and I’m not even sure in which direction.”
“What a brave girl you are! Why don’t you join us on our journeys?” offered Teyus.
“No!” protested Mira almost adamantly. Sensing she was too forceful, she quickly added, “We have no space on the bike. It is tough enough taking three of us on a two person bike, where would the fourth rider sit? I am sure Firuza understands.”
Firuza nodded and squeezed Teyus’ hand. Mira wanted to get out of this situation as fast as she could, Hari just wanted to find the easiest path home and Teyus could not believe what a strong grip Firuza had!