We are settling in to our new lives and are enjoying the school and our new home after 1 week in the city! The weather has been very hot, with day time temperatures over 100 F everyday. This is normal for this time of the year. The low humidity makes is nicer and having a pool at our home is an easy way to cool off.
The first few days we spent at the Hotel Sharq (sharq means “north” in Uzbek language). The hotel, like the city has a cool vibe with a really nice swimming pool and courtyard and a decent breakfast. We moved into a smaller room due to the air conditioners and after figuring out how to cool the fridge, we were comfortable with our stay. As in the Trip Advisor reviews, the desk and lobby workers were not the most attentive employees I have ever seen. I think it may be the long hours they work. They were nice and after a few days of practicing my Russian with them, they warmed up to our family. There is also a nice fitness center in the basement.
Nadia and I went for several walks and runs along the canals and in the many parks in the center of the city. It is quite beautiful in the mornings for exercise. Unfortunately, our house is located in a different neighborhood and it is a bit more difficult to find parks and areas to exercise. When we get a car and learn the city landscape a bit better, it will be easier. I laughed at watching local guys swimming in the canals every morning. I am tempted to try it myself!
The restaurants are numerous and of high quality. We had several really good meals including L’Opera, an Italian restaurant located in a park near the hotel. I also went for the Uzbek national dish, plov. It is basically rice with carrots and onions, slow-cooked with either beef, mutton, or lamb in huge vats. It is a common dish all through Central Asia and the national dish of Uzbekistan. The Uzbeks take great pride in plov and there are many different varieties. The restaurant Dunyo (“World” in Uzbek) served a style from southern Uzbekistan and featured cow ligaments and tendons. This is the second time I’ve had it and luckily, I enjoy it. My friend Muhktor said Thursdays are plov day.
Most of my time has been spent at school or unpacking. The movers came on Wednesday. The shipment made it to Tashkent from Osaka in about 40 days! We have another shipment coming from the USA later. It is a new home and is missing things like a door bell and curtains, but we are very comfortable and the school is taking good care of us.
The Uzbeks and Russians we have met so far have been incredible kind and easy-going. The city and culture have a very positive and relaxed feel and I think we will enjoy living here.