I love having a dog, especially one as active and cariñoso as Obi. One of the big benefits of having a dog is that it gets me out walking every day. It doesn’t matter what the weather, Obi always wants to go out and when he gives me those eyes and posters me enough, even though I might not feel like it, I end up taking him out. I wonder how many extra kilometers I’ve put in over a year. It also gives me the chance to explore the city and see things that I normally would not.
One of my favorite buildings in Tashkent is the former Lenin Museum which is today called the State History Museum of Uzbekistan. I have never gone inside, which I have to do, but the architecture is fabulous. It has elements of the classic Soviet Brutalist style, lots of concrete and geometric shapes. The architect did pay homage to the culture of Central Asia and included pandzharas which are lattice works traditionally put on mosques and other buildings to regulate heat by providing shade and openings for breezes and including beautiful decorative patterns. I like how city officials are highlighting this with the night lighting. I noticed on one side they have an art gallery which was open. I loved finding these old postcards of the building when it was part of the USSR on this website. I also learned that there was an Uzbek SSR flag. The red represents the “revolutionary struggle of the working masses” and the white stripes cotton and the blue stripe the Amu Dayra and irrigation.
I often run or walk along the Ankhor Canal and see a group playing badminton. The weather has been so warm lately that people are still playing in the evenings in December.
Nadia hosted a Christmas Cookie exchange last night at our house. I was running around the city on Friday and Saturday picking up supplies for the event including spices and honey for the mulled wine. The Mirabod Bazaar always has a wide selection of these things and I think to myself the many years markets were set up in Uzbekistan selling to travelers on the Silk Road. The Uzbeks love Christmas and of course, there was a big tree at the entrance to the bazaar.