Settling in

On Saturday, we'll be here for three weeks.  Already? Only!

David started saying this place felt like home on the third day.  I guess we are seasoned movers by now, accustomed to post-Soviet countries as they are all the same and yet so different.  This is our third, after Armenia and Moldova.  Different and the same.  The fact that Doug had been living here for three months before we arrived was a blessing in disguise - we arrived already plugged into the community and people knew about us and were happy to welcome us.  That is always a nice feeling.  We went to the big green market and we know where to buy our apples without being ripped off.  That's always a major milestone.

Our house is enormous with space galore - but, alas, not altogether perfect.  We have six bedrooms, of which two have no outside windows.  Meaning, they have windows into other rooms.  Alan chose a bedroom on the ground floor that has a window into the school room and a bathtub with whirlpool jets. It is furnished with dark furniture, elaborately carved, cheaply made furniture.  It's a cave with almost no natural light.  I'm still unhappy about this, although he is very resistant to change.  The guestroom has a window into the laundry room.  Yes, well.  Less horrible because we don't have any guests at the moment.

Speaking of beds, here's something odd about this country - maybe that's only our house but I don't think so.  The beds don't have slats or boxsprings, they have big pieces of plywood in the frame, on top of which rest thin, really really hard mattresses.  They are so hard that I can't feel Doug turning or getting up.  We brought three mattresses for the kids but none for us.  I looked around but there seems to be only one kind of mattress:  hard.  The same is true for our couch and our "upholstered" chairs.  Freaking hard!  You sit down and there is absolutely no give, just as if you sit down on a wooden chair.  I've read that Tajiks (used to) sleep on the so-called tapchans, raised platforms a little bit like very low tables, on thin mattresses that are like futons.  I'm not sure whether this mattress situation is good or bad for our spines but you do not get that "aaahhh" feeling when you (don't) sink into your bed at night.  It's more like a surprise.  Oh!  Right.  Hard bed. 

I'm such a wuss.

We have a very nice tea porch.  We like the tea porch even though we can't get all the dust out.  The amount of dust here is quite remarkable.  I thought our house in Germany was dusty but no! There is always a way to top this, eh? The Tajik solution to this, by the way, is to throw a rug on it.

We can't find reasonably priced chairs or book shelves.  Really, I should have foreseen that because we had a similar problem in Armenia.  I should have just filled that last crate with chairs galore, and more book shelves.  Will I ever learn?  We already have a long list of things to bring back from Germany after Christmas, now we added six chairs to it.  IKEA, 4 kg each.  We checked.

We have a pet now.  Doug gave David a turtle for his birthday, and we are going to inherit another one from a leaving family next week.  Jebediah is a grumpy old guy, and he's got a sulk tree that he goes to and hides behind when he feels slighted.  David loves him to pieces.  I personally think we should have gotten a dog. Reptiles are just not my thing.

The younger kids will be attending Contofield Academy which is a tiny school run by an Indian expat that charges a fifth of the local QSI.  Jacob and Leah went to their summer camp for the past two week and already made some friends and had social contact.  We're still working on that for the older kids, hoping that we can sign them up for some afternoon activities at the local QSI (as Contofield only goes up to grade 5).  We went to the carnival.  We will go to the water-park soon, and we want to go hiking in the mountains. Things are slowly falling into place.

Things we miss: Relatives and friends. Rain. Rye bread. Amazon deliveries.
Things we love: Friendly people. No rain. Yummy flat bread. Pouch deliveries.

Tajikistan is all right.  We are still finding our feet, we haven't met too many people yet because everybody is gone during the summer holidays, it seems safe and friendly, the traffic isn't too horrible, we're getting used to a change in our diets (no canned tomatoes!), and somehow we feel at home, just like David said.  So tonight, we'll have movie night.  The movie will be "Jurassic Park".  David has been pining for this movie for a long time and as luck would have it, his aunt just sent the DVD for his birthday.  Lucky kid.
(Oh, and we'll try homemade pizza.  Because really, the pizza ain't nothing to write home about.)