• Old Dude seeing me on my phone:Why don't you read the news instead of tweeting and texting.
  • Me:I'm actually reading an article from The Economist on my phone about Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan's mock elections. What are your thoughts on the topic?
  • Old Dude taken aback:I don't know.
  • Me:Well then why don't you read the news instead of chastising teenagers on their phones?

The Registan was the heart of the ancient city of Samarkand of the Timurid dynasty, now in Uzbekistan. The name Rēgistan (ریگستان) means “Sandy place” or “desert” in Persian. The Registan was a public square, where people gathered to hear royal proclamations, heralded by blasts on enormous copper pipes called dzharchis - and a place of public executions.