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Rundown for the Week of February 2, 2001

The Stans: Part II
Have you ever even heard of "Central Asia"? It's a region of the world comparable in size to the lower 48, but nestled between Siberia and the Indian Ocean, it's not a place we hear much about - or even know exists.

There is no democracy in Central Asia, only charismatic leaders, corrupt dictatorships and Islamic fundamentalism. There are few civil liberties. The police and governments are not there to help you. They seemingly exist to take: your money, your supplies, your time.

So, why on earth would you take a group of 24 tourists on a three week trip through the area? Stan Trek 2000, so named because all six countries on the itinerary end in "Stan," was a guided tour, on a bus, that started in Ashgabod, Turkmenistan. Terminus? Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Last week we heard part one of the adventure. Benjamin Adair is our guide and he took us through Turkmenistan and parts of Uzbekistan. Today, we continue the itinerary, with the goal of reaching Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Last week, we heard about amusement and conquest. This week, things are going a little differently.

London Markets
So you're about to leave on that trip, and you're getting the house ready for your absence setting the lamp timers and leaving notes for the cat-sitter. And you look around and think, boy, this place could use some sprucing up. And then it hits you: wouldn't it be great to bring back some unique, one-off antiques from abroad? Is this you?

Producer Elizabeth Yates McNamee thought she might upgrade her house with some English antiques the reknowned London markets, but had no idea where to start. An experienced friend told her about finding deals at a weekly market in South London, but neither of them imagined what she'd actually find there.

Traveling Poor
We got a postcard this week from Mary Lou Weisman, who's been thinking about her honeymoon years ago aboard a Greek ocean liner. She remembers nights sharing canned tuna, bread and wine with other budget-conscious passengers and sleeping on the deck under the stars. She also recalls, a bit uncomfortably... how she felt about the middle-aged tourists below, snugly sleeping in beds and eating at tables. Didn't they realize how their money actually insulated them from the very travel experiences they craved? Well, as she tells us now...times have changed.

Interview: Joel Garreau, High-Tech Nomad
We've come a long way from the days of wandering through different lands without homes, living as nomads. Or have we? Even today, when we can easily interact with someone by picking up a phone or logging onto a computer, some people still make their living constantly traveling from place to place. Their only addresses exist as e-mail or as cell phone numbers. Welcome to the world of the high-tech nomad. Writer Joel Garreau investigated this unique breed of traveler for the Washington Post, and sat down with us recently to tell us what he learned.

Deal of the Week
High-Flying Bargains from Lufthansa

Question of the Week
The Kindness of Strangers

Cassette Copies
If you want your very own copy of The Savvy Traveler, order an audio cassette. It's easy. Just call 303-823-8000. The price is $15. .

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