Anna Akhmatova was evacuated from Leningrad and lived in Tashkent for two years. Tashkent, "Central Asia" according to the introduction to Poems of Akhmatova, translated by Max Hayward and Stanley Kunitz.
Uzbekistan... where Craig Murray also lived, for a few years. Uzbekistan where women sold handicrafts in bars and then became prostitutes. Where belly dancers were loved by the children because they, unlike their parents, had money and bought them food and clothes. Uzbekistan, where everyone you knew could be punished if the government disliked you. Where crime scenes and bombing sites were hosed down within an hour or two, so that no questions could be asked.
Uzbekistan, also of Anthony Bourdain. Did Anna Akhmatova pour tea into a cup, and back into the kettle, and into the cup again, three times? Did she witness a wedding? Did she eat the bread?
Today, if she lived in Tashkent, would she have to evacuate to Saint Petersberg?