Family Journal: December 5, 2020

Obi in front of National Friendship Palace

It has been a quiet weekend so far. Our school is in our recruiting season so lots of interviews, checking references, looking through resumes, etc. I am finding family time in between all of these activities. Yesterday afternoon I went for a cold walk with Obi around the Alisher Navoi National Park, a large green space full of statues of writers and poets. The sci-fi looking theatre, the National Friendship Palace is such a striking building that I love to walk around it. There seemed to be some action going on inside as I saw performers getting makeup applied through one of the windows. Temperatures are hovering around 0C (32F) all this week and into next week. It has been a much colder November and December this year from last year. It was also a poor air quality day in Tashkent, combined with fog and cold, it was a miserable day to be outside. I should go up to the mountains this afternoon to see some snow.

Bunyodkor Square

Friday night I was shocked to attend a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony held at one of the major, international hotel chains. The American Chamber of Commerce sent the invitation around to its members. I thought it was going to be held outside. However, the event was held in a packed lobby of 150-200 people, half not wearing masks. I was uncomfortable being so close to so many people and only stayed a few minutes. As I was walking out, the choir was starting to sing… talk about a super-spreader event! It seems many people here think the pandemic is over and much of the city is back to normal. I am still taking precautions to avoid being infected and with promising vaccines on the way, at least I can see the possible end to this pandemic.

On a more pleasant note, my wife Nadia and I discovered an excellent Georgian wine. The Saperavi grape variety is new to me and is native to the Caucasus and Central Asia. This particular vineyard is from Kakheti, a mountainous region in eastern Georgia. It is very drinkable, consistently good, dry wine that I highly recommend.

Owen’s Lunch!

Finally, I had to take a photo of my son’s lunch yesterday. He ordered delivery and had a large burger, steak and fries. My two teenage sons have tremendous appetites. It is incredible to watch how much they eat. We had a nice night, sitting around eating pizza (another delivery), laughing and talking in the kitchen. Later we watched Bridget Jones Diary, one of my wife’s favorite movies. It is almost 20 years old, but holds up well and is an excellent “Rom-Com”.

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