A Month in the Life of a Service Engineer in Uzbekistan
How did you end up in Uzbekistan?
New markets are constantly being opened by the Sales Team due to the ongoing growth of our client list. Next, the Service Engineering Knights and their tools are called to the field for another epic adventure! This time, we went to Uzbekistan…
A month after joining the Service Engineering team, this was my first trip with Smartex & first time in Asia! But some of the other members of my team had already traveled to Uzbekistan before as well as Türkiye, Pakistan, and soon to be Egypt.
Long story short, our teams job is to get things done at the factories! From assessment to installation and maintenance of the Smartex systems, the Service Engineering team is always in a rush… But that’s the way we like to live!
Personally, one of the best parts of the job is the fact that it never gets boring with all the different challenges that we face at factories. Other than that, I’ve been loving the amount of traveling we get to do and the opportunity to meet so many incredible people around the world!
Some quick facts about Uzbekistan
Cold start ❄️
After a 4 hour flight from Porto to Istanbul and a long long layover (12h approximately), our team flew for another 4 hours to the Uzbekistan capital city: Tashkent!
Exhausted from the flights and layover, I woke up just before we landed. Still half sleep, I looked outside to check what it looked like and noticed everything was white. I thought the plane was still above the clouds, but as I rubbed my eyes, I realized the entire city was blanketed in snow!
It was official: The Smartex Squad had arrived to spend some lovely 30 days in the so-called Soviet Summer. 🙂
“Welcome to Uzbekistan 😅”
Regarding traffic over here, I couldn’t find any car brand pie chart to showcase but can assure you that 99% of them are Chevrolet and of those 99% it’s rare to find one that is not white! Also, there are some sweet mini vans called Damas (no need to say the brand cause it’s obvious by now) which the team loved to take rides in because they are so tiny and turbulent.
Every time we couldn’t find a Damas to carry us and our personal belongings, some Tetris skills were required!
Picture this scene: 1 Sedan Car, 4 Technicians with a 30kg toolbox, 30kg luggage with clothes and a backpack EACH… Here was the result:
If you panic while driving, it's best to avoid getting in a car in Uzbekistan. The close driving there can be quite intimidating.
From clients to friends!
Everyone at the factories were super nice to our team, even though the vast majority didn’t speak English.
They were always willing to learn, helping and asking if we needed something like tea or coffee. It felt like they went from clients to real friends in just a couple of days, beyond any cultural, religious or linguistic barrier!
Being so far away from home can be difficult, but it's reassuring to know that someone is taking good care of you. Uzbekistan may not be a popular tourist destination, but the people here are incredibly welcoming and eager to share their culture and cuisine. Their enthusiasm when we expressed our appreciation for their country was priceless!
For me, the real stars of Uzbekistan are the PEOPLE.
To show our appreciation even more we came up with the idea of signing a couple of old fixtures (used to drill the machines before installing our system) and giving them away as a gift from our team, which they hopefully loved.
Everyone was really curious about what our country looks like and asked us many many times when we will come back to Uzbekistan. My answer was always the same: You’ll hear more about us in the near future for sure!
Uzbek Gastronomy 🍽️
There are tons of Turkish food restaurants over here with really tasty food. Our team highly recommends Basri Baba and Merhaba Steak House if you come to Tashkent one day.
Both Uzbek and Turkish foods have a really strong yoghurt presence to cut some of the fatness of the dishes, not a desert as in other countries like Portugal!
Also I would say that some of the best Uzbekistan national foods to try would be Plof, Somsa and the bread.
Although some items might not necessarily look tasty, keep your mind open and trust the locals to guide you through!
I will definitely miss the bread and a Turkish drink called Ayran (basically yoghurt mixed with water which tastes SUPER GOOD.)
Monuments and POI's 🗿
Even though we didn’t have much time to sightsee, we couldn’t miss the main monument in Uzbekistan, located in the city of Samarkand: The Registan! Which in Persian means Sandy Place or Desert.
Composed by 3 Madrasahs (Ulugh Beg, Tilya-Kori and Sher Dor), its distinctive Islamic Architecture and enormous buildings really cause an impact when you get there. The amount of details carved into those walls deserve your close attention to admire all the beautiful patterns and colors of those buildings.
There are also some other really beautiful monuments near the Registan that you should visit too.
In Tashkent, I would say that one of the biggest points of interest is the Chorsu Bazaar! It’s an iconic and famous market full of colors where you can see lots of different products being sold… As well as a nice place to purchase souvenirs for your family and friends.
Apart from that, I really enjoyed my first visit to a mosque. Don't forget to remove your shoes before you step on the carpet, remain silent, and don't take any photos inside certain places. Mutual respect is much appreciated here!
The Tashkent metro stations are also a really good example of architecture! Just look at these photos shared by Bruno Sousa from his first trip to the country.
I also wanted to include these lovely photos of Uzbekistan’s natural beauty, one shot from the plane on our way to Fergana and the second one taken by Bruno during a road trip from Chust to Tashkent 👌.
Just a power nap 😇
This whole thing looks tiring right? Well, that’s because it was. Tiring and rewarding at the same time. Our team tried to install as many systems as the 30 day visa allowed us to.
The most important thing after all is that we still had lots of good and fun moments to remember in the future!
Time to say Goodbye See you soon!
As our time in Uzbekistan comes to an end, it’s time to get back to our home countries and leave this lovely place just as it was when we arrived covered in snow ❄️
A huge shout out to the 3 guys that went along with me on my first working trip ever, thanks for all of the knowledge exchanges and experiences. We came as men and felt that we left as Textile Legends 😎.
From the Jan 2023-Feb 2023 Uzbek Team:
If you want to be part of our adventures & join our growing service engineering team, apply here!