С праздником 

Happy Uzbek Independence Day!

As long-time readers will recall, last year during Uzbekistan’s annual holiday commemoration my husband and I were both still living in Alexandria, Virginia. We celebrated by swimming in our pool and then heading to Rus Uz in Arlington to consume traditional Uzbek delicacies.

This year I will probably just stay home, lounge in the sun, and make one last push to organize all of our belongings that recently arrived via sea freight so that this place really starts to feel like a home. I am excited to say that my husband will be arriving at post within the next week, and I can’t wait to start our lives and work here together!

In other news, I recently discovered that my little Arslan, the desert tortoise I adopted from a family departing post on July 24, is actually a female!

So the day before yesterday (Saturday, August 29), I went with a couple of friends out on the town to start our holiday weekend off right and to give a green card to a lucky tortoise. We started with a beautiful lunch at Amaretto, where we were the only customers, feasting on gazpacho, lamb, pasta and warm salad with feta.

Then we went on to an open-air bazaar where I picked up another tortoise. This time I made sure it was definitely a male, to keep her company. One of my neighbors picked up two tortoises also, and to our horror all three were shoved into a teeny box where they tried constantly to scratch their way out until we arrived home! Another neighbor had to turn down an adorable kitten that kept being foisted on her by an elderly Russian-speaking woman who repeated in English, “Little cat! Little cat!”

The tortoise formerly known as Arslan and her male counterpart met on my lawn, nose to nose, and then promptly took off in different directions. For the time being, he is getting acclimatized to his new palace, and she is taking advantage.

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Sarah W Gaer

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