Family Magazine

One Week

By Sherwoods
It's been just over a week since we landed in Tashkent.  The trip was uneventful, other than William acting like a typical 17-month old baby and keeping everyone around him awake with his fussing.  I'm very glad we're not flying with him for another year.
We were able to take a direct flight from Frankfurt to Tashkent, which meant we only had two flights total.  The last time we got to post in two flights was in 2011, so it was pretty amazing, especially when getting to Dushanbe often took four flights.  Also amazing was landing at ten o'clock the day after we left.  After spending three and a half years arriving at 4:30 on the morning of the third day, ten o'clock at night on the second felt like an absolute luxury.  It was beautiful to go to sleep and be able to sleep for eight or nine uninterrupted hours.
One Week
Our first impressions of Tashkent were immediately good.  Just like in Dushanbe, we arrived to a terminal so new that it still smelled new.  It took five minutes to get through passport control, all nine of our bags arrived, and our sponsor met us at baggage with two embassy vans waiting for us and all our stuff.  The city seemed to be clean and reasonably (for Central Asia) well-kept, and we were only a twenty-minute drive to the airport.
We had gotten pictures (that I had spent hours poring over) of our house, so we had some idea of what to expect, but found it to be even better than expected.  The pictures managed to make it look somewhat small and poky, but it's enormous (maybe even bigger than our last house), well-lit, and - most importantly - it has a POOL.
One Week
Summer in Tashkent, like in Dushanbe, is long and hot.  The embassy doesn't have a pool, so having one at our house was our highest priority.  According to everyone we've talked to, our pool is the largest in the housing pool, so we have been put on notice that we have a community obligation to host at least one party before the end of the summer.  Along with the big pool, we have a nice large yard with lots of space, so hosting a party shouldn't be too hard.
Since our stuff was coming all the way from Dushanbe, it arrived in Tashkent before we did.  Brandon arranged to have it delivered Tuesday, so I've been digging out ever since.  In between unpacking I've gone grocery shopping, visited the embassy for briefings and my badge (last time that took six months), and even attended a birthday party.  I've already turned down a lunch invitation and skipped an ice cream social, so I think that we'll have plenty to do here once we get settled in.
One Week
The children have already started making friends, and Kathleen was thrilled to find another newcomer who is only two weeks younger than her, making this the first female friend her age she's ever had.  I know of another family that has girls Kathleen and Sophia's ages, so they should have some friends, which they are happy about.  I've made friends, too, and my sponsor also homeschools, so I don't think anyone should be lonely.
One Week
Our neighborhood is quite nice, very quiet, and within easy walking distance of a nice supermarket.  We have a neighborhood milk lady who brings fresh milk (so fresh it's warm from the cow) twice a week.  Brandon has found a stable that's two miles away.  I've already hired a housekeeper and a pool man, and have gotten recommendations for a Russian teacher, piano teacher, and and swimming lesson instructor.
Judging by the first week, this is the easiest transition we've ever had.  It helps that we've only moved one country away and it's pretty much the same culture and the same way of doing things.  Some of the stuff in the grocery store is different (I can tell we're back in Turkic-land because there's lots of plain yogurt), the signs are in Uzbek instead of Tajik, but everything else makes perfect sense.
But now we've moved to, as Brandon put it one evening, "the Germany of Central Asia."  Everything works a little better.  Our house has 90 degree angles instead of 92 degree or 88 degree angles.  The molding is plaster instead of styrofoam.  There are screens on the windows.  We can turn on all of our split packs at once.  There aren't any backup water tanks or generators.  Our pool as a functional filter system.  There are specific neighborhood garbage pick-up days.  Our road has no potholes (it helps that we live down the street from the president's daughter).
So I think I'm going to like Tashkent just fine.  The DCM already brought up extending with Brandon and Brandon told him that we'd like to extend.  When the DCM assured him that he could think about it, Brandon assured him right back that he'd already done the thinking.  As far as I'm concerned, we can stay here as long as the State Department will let us.
One Week

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