31 March 2011


I saw a hoopoe today. They really are as cool as they sound.

Photo tomorrow when the internet is unlimited.

Narodniy Has Failed Me

The number one reason why I have to go shopping every day is to find milk.  No one in the family much likes drinking whole milk which is too bad, since it's really easy to find.  Skimmed milk has been voted down too, although I might have to overrule that vote because my one constant and reliable source of 2.5% milk has quit stocking it.  Narodniy just switched to the ultra-pasteurized bags of milk which cost a lot more than regular pasteurized milk.

There are a few stores in the bazaar that stock the regular bagged milk, but none are very reliable, especially depending on the person working in the store that part of the month.  Some people are more willing to stock our milk than others.

It makes sense that the milk we like doesn't get stocked because it goes bad after a week, so if you don't sell it quickly, you don't sell it at all.  (And yes, you should check your dates.  No one else will.  And be prepared for a hairy eyeball if you point out that your milk is old.)  And I guess the demand for that milk isn't here in Tokmok. 

30 March 2011

 I'm sure I have more photos of signs stashed in a folder somewhere, but these were the only two I could find tonight.  The obvious one is warning you not to climb the electric pole, and the other says that the home across the street is selling salt for cattle.

29 March 2011

We spent a lot of the last few days waiting for some friends of ours to get married. The first scheduled date was Friday, but when we got to the mosque, we found out everything had been postponed till Sunday. So on Sunday afternoon we waited, and waited some more, but the wedding didn’t happen again. I couldn’t commit about two or three hours the wedding at that point, so my husband went for the third time on Monday. Success finally, even though it looked at the last minute that everything might fall apart again because the bride’s father, the wali, couldn’t be reached by cell phone. Apparently his earlier approval was good enough the the wedding was finalized.

We did have a good time on Sunday chatting with the neighbors, watching the hopeful couple bake lots of naan, checking out the end of the animal bazaar, people watching, and making plov outside in a qazan. It was worthwhile too, because my family’s hanging around for 5 hours made the neighbors curious and they all helped for the real wedding on Monday. This couple needs it.

See the chekich?  There are so many with cool designs at the bazaar.

I also decided that I shouldn't complain about my kitchen.  Their house has no stove and just two low tables for food prep.  And the requisite buckets.  I at least have a nice, airy kitchen with three not-so-low tables.  And a stove and oven.  And buckets.  I was jealous of their spigot outside though, because it had a drain.  I am developing drain envy since the only drain in our house that either both exists and works well is the one in the bathroom sink.  I had no idea there even was such a thing as drain envy.

So Ready

Things I'll do on Friday when I can use the internet as much as I want to (even though it will be very slow- 2000 times slower than cheapo high speed in the US):

News! I honestly have no idea what's going on the in the Middle East
Google maps
Figure out what birds I should be looking for
More photos
Legos for the boys
Download more ebooks
Try downloading an audiobook, although it'll probably take 10 hours
See all the photos I've been missing, since I've had to browse with images off for two months (makes it tricky to upload your own photos when you can't see them)
Family history
Scrabble (unless it takes too long to upload)
Dungan recipes
Homeschooling resources

And so much more. There's even a chance we'll have wifi later. It would be fun to update the iPad.

28 March 2011

New Bird

I've been trying to get a picture of one of these birds for a few weeks now.  It seems that they appeared in early March, although I just might not have noticed them before then.  It's the best photo of the bunch even though it's not completely clear, but you can see the detail on the bird pretty well. 

We're supposed to have cheaper internet access on Friday, so I'm hoping to look this one up then.

Update:  Couldn't wait (we technically have cheaper internet today! but we only have five hours for the rest of the month, but I used a few minutes for this).  It's a Masked Wagtail. I looked up the other photo I'd posted, where Heather thought it was a Carrion Crow or a Rook, and it's definitely a Rook. 

25 March 2011

Cooking Outside

There's all sorts of interesting things in our yard.  Today we got out the big qazan and fired it up.  Plov would have been best, but potatoes and onions are good too.

Next time we'll have to try shashlyk

24 March 2011


23 March 2011

Prayer Time

These are the prayer times from two different mosques near us.  Rather different timing.

The mosques here do the call to prayer live which is a nice change.  There are several different people who do it at each, or at least at the mosques near one.  One mosque near us has one man who does the most unique call I have ever heard in my life.  He was on today.

21 March 2011

Faces of Nooruz

Happy Nooruz!

Nooruz today.  We walked a few blocks south to where it seemed most everyone in town was.  There was plenty of singing and dancing, people, food, and the amusement park was up and running.  A lot of Dungans had set up tables where they brought you shashlyk, ashlyanfu, naan, manti, or plov.   And a little different than the US way of eating when you’re at something like a street fair.  It was nice to have a place to sit down and have someone else bring your food to you instead of trying to balance a stroller, three children, and 5 plates of food.

I am definitely going to try making ashlyanfu on my own. It was delicious.

20 March 2011

Hot Water

So this photo doesn't look like much, but it's part of an unusual story.  We were walking by another section of this street where a couple of men were working next to a small trench. There was a long strip of insulation next to the trench.  We both thought it was a little odd, since you don't often see people out digging in the street, especially with insulation.  But we kept walking till one of the men came up to us and asked if we were German (everyone assumes we're German; Australian is a common second guess; and my husband gets Turkish sometimes when he speaks Uzbek (no one would ever guess I'm Turkish); but it's extremely rare for anyone to think we're American).  It turned out he spoke English and he told us that they were installing pipes for heating the neighborhood's homes with hot water.  I've mentioned before how dirty and difficult coal heating is, and how expensive gas is, so hot water can be a good option.  So this neighborhood got a grant to help pay for the project, then worked with various levels in the city, from individual neighbors and the block committee, to the mayor's office who let them borrow an excavator.  Now there are about 15 homes that will have hot water heating in their houses next winter.  I hope we can talk to him again to learn more about the process.  Definitely fascinating and wonderful.

Love Going Grocery Shopping