There are no restrictions, no rules that I know about, banning women from driving; Yet, I haven't seen a single woman behind the wheel.
The streets are eeriely quiet. No sirens. I haven't heard a police car or ambulance zooming by, blaring their sirens.
I'm sure there are traffic accidents and people being rushed to ER's. Where? Is the question.
No one blows their horn. Are Turkmen ever in a hurry? Frustrated? Anxious to get anywhere?
Do street cleaners ever rest? They sweep the streets with their two-feet tall brooms whether the weather is good (above freezing) or bad (in the single digits)
Young women wear their hair in two long braids. They cover their heads after they get married. It is a twofold process: their long hair is tied in a bun which they cover with a semi-cylindrical cardboard device that looks like a fez. Then they wrap the whole thing in colorful, flower-patterned scarves. The result is a woman two inches taller and loads of added grace.
I have yet to see a gas station in Ashgabat. I have been told they are on the outskirts of the city.
It is not uncommon to see children in the street...alone, crossing streets, playing in parks...unattended.
Chilik...it's a code of behavior, it is the social contract by which Turkmen society abides. It is their essence, the tenent that lauds modesty between the sexes and disapproves of public displays of affection--even between husband and wife--the one that reinforces nationalism and therefore makes complaining about their political leader unpatriotic. Chilik represents Turkmen sobriety and dignity and would take a foreigner a life time to understand the intricacies of this stric unwritten conduct code.
The local bread, chorek, is considered sacred and because of this, dirt does not adhere to it; therefore the five-seconds rule always applies to chorek.
Young hip boys wear extremely skinny jeans with a twist: they seem uncomfortably tight around the calves and the knees, then explode in a bombastic, Aladin-type bubble around their hips. It is a hybrid between Cristopher Columbus and a MC Hammer look. Can't touch this.