Friday, October 26, 2012

October 26, 2012

A pretty much uneventful day as I only managed to make it to the Osh bazaar to buy a cooking pot for rice and a bouquet of flowers to take to Zarina’s house for the holiday luncheon she had invited me to partake of with her family.

The market was more crowded than usual as shoppers bought huge quantities of food to share with family and friends. The teachers had informed me that during this holiday, Eid Al Mubarak, they were obligated to visit at least seven houses. After much looking around and checking prices with vendors, I found a medium size aluminum pot for 750 soms or about $17.00 and had the vendor locate a knob for it and offer just 700. He happily took the deal.

The flower market was also booming and there few bouquets to choose from at that time as it close to noon and I guess most people had already purchased theirs. I found a combination of peonies, angel breath and other greens and paid 200 soms for it or about $5.00. I had to hurry up to my apartment in order to take a shower and get ready.

The minibus to Zarina’s house took me to a part of town I had never seen before. It was made up of mostly single family homes behind shabby fences and many dusty parks where only young men could be seen walking around. At the end of the line, I got out and called Zarina who promptly came to pick me up and we walked on an unpaved street for several blocks to get to her house.

It reminded me of houses in Dushanbe by the fact that it was set behind a fence, but instead of a pretty garden beyond it, I found her father’s tow truck and SUV parked in the front yard, and she took me directly to the kitchen which was detached from the house. Her father, mother and uncle were already eating at a small table with a TV set blaring behind them in Russian. The table was laden with pastries, candy and soup, but it wasn’t as full of different food items as I had seen in Dushanbe for the same holiday.

Zarina’s dad is 100% Tatar while her mother is half Russian and half Turkish. Her dad wanted for her to marry someone of Tatar descent and just by pure luck, Timur, her fiancĂ©, is Tatar as well. I was served an insipid noodle soup and then the chicken pieces, from a free-range chicken in their yard, along with boiled potatoes. I was compensated later on by been offered plenty of sweets her mother had baked herself including one filled with grated coconut. When asked where her mother had found it, Zarina indicated a friend of her father’s had brought a huge jar full of it and offered me some to take home.

I got a tour of the house, a place obviously showing the fact that it had been built piecemeal, and found it dark, cold and cheerless. Zarina confessed she had been crying every night for the past week just thinking she’d leaving her childhood home for good the day after. I took a photo of her in her bedroom for nostalgia sake. The house did include a separate sauna and a tiny area to grow flowers, but overall, I wasn't impressed.

Zarina walked me back to the bus stop as she needed to get ready to go and decorate the hall where the wedding ceremony would take place tomorrow. The nikah had already taken place on Thursday, so that according to their Muslim religion, they were already husband and wife, and the trip to the wedding registry was a mere formality. She told me the families didn’t trust the restaurant to provide fresh salads for the meal and therefore, the two families had split the duty of cooking all the salads tonight.

I got back to my flat to deal with yet more teacher preparation for Monday. However, I took a break later on and watched the hilarious movie “For your Consideration” about the movie-making business in Hollywood. I then continue to read “Post Office” by Bukowaski. 

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