Wednesday December 8 was a national holiday in Uzbekistan. Uzbeks recognize the anniversary of the completion of the constitution. The mid-week break was nice and I took advantage of the day to spend some much-needed time reconnecting with my wife and getting started on our Christmas shopping. We were impressed with the development of Shevchenko Street near the city center. There are loads of new restaurants, cafes, shops and businesses that make it quite a pleasant experience. We ate lunch as Socials, stopped for coffee at Tim’s and did some shopping at a variety of stores on the street and around the city. The Samarkand Darvoza, a large mall, was starting to put up the giant New Year’s tree (Uzbeks don’t use the word Christmas and call it New Year) even though they have all of the symbols of the secular aspects of Christmas.
One of the challenges of living in Tashkent is the poor and unsafe driving of the majority of drivers. I made a little hobby of photographing the traffic accidents, most occurring in the large, disorganized intersections. It seems like almost every day I encounter accidents when I am driving around.
We all had a laugh on Wednesday night. We sold our basketball hoop to friends because students at the nearby school are hanging out in front of our house and there is too much litter and noise. For the first couple of years here, the hoop was used by the mahalla kids and much appreciated. But lately, students from School 175 which is close by to our house, come over and play after school and during breaks. Anyway, we removed the hoop and stand from our front verge and were trying to figure out how to move it to our friend’s house. I then remembered Yandex (the Uber of Uzbekistan) has cargo trucks that you can call at a moments notice. So as you can see, within a few minutes, a truck came to our home and we were able to load it and take it away. The service cost $12, which is quite the reasonable cost. I wonder if Uber has cargo service.