Tuesday, 29 January 2008

UZBEKISTAN - update

I've Got My Foot Back

I just hobbled back to work from the doctor, free of the moon boot that I'd been wearing for the last 2 months. Yippy. I am excited to be back in the world of 2 footed people again. It feels a little odd and is a little sore but hopefully in the next 24 hours my brain will catch up with my new reality. I am under doctor's orders though not to hop and skip around like a child! Nor am I allowed to ski this session. I asked about doing cartwheels but apparently they are also on the naughty list.
I moved house last Friday. I tell you, things are looking up! The apartment is still undergoing some reconstruction so I have visitors for a couple of hours every evening working on the electricity, telephone, plumbing and installing cupboards. The doors to the kitchen arrive next week so I am waiting for them before I unpack boxes, as everything will just get dusty again (that's my excuse for procrastinating!). My new place has a spare bedroom... for guests! It also has excellent central heating, reliable water supply and even a spa bath. Come visit :-)

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

UZBEKISTAN - Tashkent

I'm moving house

Oh the joys of winter in Tashkent. Although my house does have heating, it is not sufficient to actually heat the house (does that make sense?). This, together with being pissed off about having been given the run around for the past 5 months as I continue to try and get Internet an Internet connection at my house, has driven me to seek out new accommodation. The school basically pays for our accommodation and we can choose to spend it on what we please. I looked at 10 different places before deciding on a rather nice apartment. I'm really excited about moving... and having heat a home (I know I'll regret saying that when it's 40 degrees in June). I wanted a house but I guess it wasn't to be. I move next week. Should be fun moving house in a country without cardboard boxes, 2 feet of snow on the ground and my foot still in the moon boot from the torn Achilles heel. Things could be worse, right?

Saturday, 19 January 2008

UZBEKISTAN - Tashkent

It's snowing!

And the snow continues to fall. My boss told me yesterday that he read on the Internet that this is the coldest winter here since 1984. Just my luck. When the ground, trees and buildings are all covered in fresh snow the city does look like a wonderland. With the cars driving over it all the snow quickly turns to grey mush.
Snow blankets the street, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
It's Saturday and I am at work with the intention of writing report cards. Currently I am updating by blog and checking emails! I'm procrastinating. This afternoon I hope to go and visit 2 more houses/apartments as I am determined to move house. I have seen 10 already and am really keen on 2 of these. I have a few decisions to make in the next few days.
I employed a new driver/cook/cleaner/shopper/ironing lady this week. So far, so good.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

India

These are a few of my favourite photos that I took on my winter trip to India.

















Tashkent, Uzbekistan

January in Tashkentland


oh gosh, I've become so self-absorbed in the past 10 days since I got back from India that I have barely kept in touch with anyone. I'm operating in survival mode. It's so bloody cold here. Down below -20 at night with over a foot of snow on the ground. It's driving me insane having to hop around in this moon boot thing until my Achilles injury heals (apparently 2 more weeks... that makes a total of 2 months!). The roads aren't cleared at all (except the route that the dear President drives along) so everything is icy and slippery. I feel like Rapunzel (except for the whole golden hair bit), trapped in my home by ice. A bit boring really without Internet, only CNN or BBC to watch (I'm pretty decent on current events now!) and living alone. I make do with books, DVDs I picked up in India and Spider Solitaire. I'm almost addicted to Spider Solitaire. Anyway life got worse last week when the gas in my house stopped and hence no heating. I borrowed an electric oil heater from work... that night the electricity went out too. Then I was cold and it was dark. No spider Solitaire! Last night my water stopped. It was my tipping point. I finally cried and then packed my bags and am staying at a friends house. I went new apartment hunting today. Hopefully I have found a place. More news about that another day as I don't want to jinx it. So I am at my friend Suzy's house. She was the lady I went travelling with back in October. Her son Alex is in my class. She made me mashed potatoes and sausages for dinner! I have no idea where she got the sausages from but they were great! She had tried to spoil me as I hadn't showered in 2 days so ran her spa bath and put candles around the edge. Dumb arse me bloody burned myself on the candles. How much more bad luck could I have? Stupid question to ask aye.
Stay tuned.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

INDIA

Almost Homeward Bound

I am back, safe and sound in Delhi. I had an overnight train from Varanasi last night and actually had quite a nice nap! Today we went to the Chandi Chock (Now I know I definitely spelt that wrong) Market which was extremely crowded and not a pleasant experience at all. This afternoon I walked around Janpath Market and bought yet another bed cover, a t-shirt and found a supermarket so that I can stock up on Milo, curry powder and other essential items. Ha ha.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

INDIA - Varanasi

Happy New Year from Varanasi, India

I welcomed in the new year last night in Varanasi. On the last day of 2007 we woke early and went on a sunrise boat cruise down the Ganges. We saw many the funeral pires, people bathing, swimming and praying. It was amazing to see the candles floating on their leaf boats. Later in the afternoon we returned to the Ganges for the evening prayers. We hired a boat and sitar player. Fantastic!
Our hotel organised a party to celebrate last night. We danced the night away in an empty swimming pool with hundreds of Indian tourists. There was plenty of vodka, fireworks and ended up with cake fight. Lots of fun and great to be with new friends.




A boat ride on the Ganges, Varanasi

The Ganges, Varanasi

The Ganges, Varanasi







Street life, Varanasi India


Today I am about to catch a tuk tuk to Sarnath to see the site where Buddha made his first teaching. We then have an overnight train ride back to Delhi.