I'm back in Turkmenistan. My insomnia is being exacerbated by jetlag and I don't seem to be able to go to sleep at any time of the day. I write and read all night long and at 7 am I change into my work-out clothes and go for a run. I dress modestly because I'm a lady: wild hair gathered in a ponytail, lycra capris and a brand-new long-sleeve shirt. I select my salsa music in the iPod and plug in my earbuds. I cross the street (an empty six-lane highway) and run like mad around an unnamed park flanking presidential grounds, which by virtue of having a larger-than-life set of bronze horses, I'll call The Horses Park.
But it's seven o'clock and the sun is already up. The temperature must have risen while I crossed the street, from nice and joggable to the low 90s. Not running temperature. I snap some pictures, debate whether or not to photograph the watchmen who had just slept on the park benches under the stars, in twin-size matresses, and under a light Caspian breeze. I decided not to, in case one of them is not fully asleep and catches me in the act. I play two salsa songs, a crazy merengue, and a lively reggaeton by PitBull in my iPod and go back to the hotel. An hour later, the temperature is 110F.
Lesson learned: If you want to go for an early jog in Ashgabat during the summer, go before sunrise (6 am).