I woke up on Friday, March 18 to falling snowflakes shining under the streetlight outside the window. The snow melted by the afternoon, but it was nice to see the white snow on the trees at school. It was a weak winter here in Tashkent over 2021-2022. It snowed in the city on only 3 occasions that I can recall. I don’t think it snowed in January and February! Snow came once in early November, once on Boxing Day and once on Friday. It made for a short ski season at the Amirsoy Resort. According to historical averages I find, it usually snows 30 times from November to March. I sense from what my friends tell me is that global warming is causing a drier, hotter climate in Tashkent and Uzbekistan.
March is historically the month in Tashkent with the most rainfall and this year is exceptional. It has been raining daily for two weeks now. To the point where last week when we had a couple hours of sunshine, the parks were full of dog walkers because everyone has been stuck in their homes. As you can see in the first photos above, water levels in the canals in the city are high and the water displays a brown color from erosion. It feels more like the UK than the sunshine and dryness of our Mediterranean climate. Our Spring Break started with cold, overcast skies this weekend.
Construction and development in the city continue unabated with a dizzyingly amount of projects taking place. Our neighborhood is no exception with the Onix Group building an office/retail building on Sarikol Street with an apartment complex behind. The good news for us is the first store to open will be a nice coffee shop. Illy Coffee, headquartered in Trieste, Italy, brews an excellent cup of coffee. The founder, Francesco Illy, invented an expresso machine in the 1930s and they continue to have cafes and sell coffee equipment all over the world. There is a bit of animosity between Illy and Starbucks. I prefer Illy coffee to Starbucks regarding coffee quality. We visited Trieste in 2011 and I remember the beauty of the seaside port city.
I always wondered why this line of buses was parked along a road near our house. The mystery was solved by a colleague who used to work at the assembly plant behind the buses. He used to be the head of purchasing for Artel, an appliance manufacturer here in Uzbekistan. The buses are for the plant workers. The factory is located on the site of a former trolley yard and our neighborhood in Mirabad, is close to the city center. Artel buses in employees from outside of Tashkent because people living in the city won’t work for the wages they offer. It is cheaper for the company to bus in people from villages surrounding the city rather than pay higher wages to Tashkenters.
I am using this break to get more active and increase my physical fitness. It is difficult for me to exercise as much as I want in the winter due to the cold weather, darkness and busy school and family life. I cycled along the canal and by the Tashkent TV tower yesterday (23 kilometers) and took the photo of the museum above. I am getting tired of the cold weather as with low temperatures hovering close to OC.