Family Journal: August 28, 2022

Oliver Cross Country Training

We had a relaxing weekend enjoying the summer weather of Tashkent. I love dinners outside by the pool with my family. It usually ends up with me falling asleep on the topchan. 🙂 Our teenage children spend less time with us and more time with their friends which is natural stage of life. It means they are pulling away from us to become independent adults. 😦

The tapchan is a raised platform that is used in Central Asia for relaxing and reclining outdoors. It functions as a table, or as a bed, and often has a smaller table on it for serving food and tea. The tapchan can be made of wood or welded steel, and often has a thin mattress, cushion, or carpet on wood planks. You will find them in parks, restaurants, back yards, and at hotels. Sometimes the tapchan is covered with a mosquito net at night for outdoor sleeping on hot nights when you don’t want to sleep in the house. Some tapchans are made with tall corner posts that can support a latticework roof, and vines or climbing plants can cover it for shade. The tapchan is important for entertaining guests and socializing. A nice sized tapchan can be big enough for 6 people to sit around the small tea table.

On Friday night, we went out with friends to the Carlsberg Beer Garden. The beer garden next to the brewery is open in the summer months and is a great venue for a night out. A really good rock band was playing covers ranging from Coldplay to Led Zepplin to the Eagles. Our party chose Baltica pitchers but I switched to Sarbast the beer Carlsberg brews for the Uzbek market. “Sarbast” means soldier in English and the unfiltered version is a medium bodied lager.

Saturday morning I rode my bike through the rolling hills between the towns of Parkent and Changi nestled against the Chatkal mountains, about 45 minutes outside of Tashkent. I love riding back roads because of light car traffic. I also took some of the trails through the grape and plum orchards. It was quite dusty but nice views and the perk of sneaking a few juicy grapes and plums on breaks.

In the late afternoon Nadia, Ocean and I took Obi on a walk with our dog-owning friends along the Ankhor Canal. We took a photo of the kids posed on one of the lovely London Plane Trees that line the canal. (below)

Ocean and Obi Along the Canal

Sunday is our shopping day and Nadia and I usually first head to our favorite supermarket Korzinka or Magnit, and then to a couple of markets (bazaars in Uzbek) to find fresh vegetables and fruits. We like the Mirabad Bazaar because it is close to our house and uncrowded with a wide range of products. I am always curious about the helpers below. These are guys that cruise around the market, asking to carry the produce and shopping of customers for a small fee. They use wheeled crate and will escort people to their cars. We usually pay them around $5 for the service. I am curious about their finances. How much do they make in a day? Is this a side gig or main source of income? What is the average tip they receive?

Helpers waiting for customers at the Mirabad Bazaar

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