Chris has given me the job of paying our fare when we use any of the public transportation. I say “Du Kase,” and hand the guy/kid the money. I also bought an RC Cola yesterday. I said, “Yak Cola,” while using my hands to show the lady that I wanted the big one. I don’t know what she said in reply, or what language it was. I just smiled at her until she gave me my change.
A Marshuka is one of several forms of public transportation available in Dushanbe. A Marshuka is basically a minivan. There are several seats in the back, and when the seats are full, there is plenty of standing room. When the standing room seems to be all taken, they still let 5 or so more people on. It can be uncomfortable, but it is mildly entertaining to watch how people move to try to make more room.
Each marshuka has a number to indicate which route it is taking. Chris seems to remember which numbers will take us to our destinations pretty well from his last trip here 2 years ago. Although, he always says, “We may have taken the wrong one.” About a minute before we arrive exactly where we are supposed to be.
Some routes also run buses, and “trolley-trolley buses.” The trolley-trolley buses look just like a bus, but they are electric and run from the electric lines suspended above the street. Apparently these and the other buses were not running last time Chris was here. They are a great improvement and a sign that things are improving in Dushanbe.
Of course, there are also taxis. We took a taxi on our return trip from buying the Sanjuks (decorated wooden chests, traditionally given as wedding presents).