While wandering back to our Bukhara digs and trying not to fall in the open drain in the narrow high walled street I received an invite to a party.
Well I didn’t know it was a party but being keen to see behind the walls I went in for “a cup of chai”. WOW a courtyard lush with tomato plants, herbs and vines and then shoes off and into the family room where a huge table cloth (on the floor) was surrounded by about 30 people on brightly coloured cushions. What a welcome I was given with 4 generations having a birthday bash. Vodka was produced and I was given several types of food to try, followed by toasts and the singing of happy birthday (by me with all the others clapping along).
This was fantastic so when they asked me to get my husband (moosh) I went to our rooms followed by several of the teenagers and found Gareth in bed and not keen to party,,, so a knock on the next door gets Dave out of bed and he is always keen to party. So off we go back to the party with the camera and a Kiwi gift for the birthday boy. It takes a while to explain that Dave isn’t my moosh but a friend. The Usbeks have a wonderful sence of humour so with much mirth and many gestures we managed the language issues as we didn’t have many words in common.
The food is abundant and fruits fresh and dried, meats, yoghurts and pastries, a huge variety of nuts and sweets adorned this table. Colour and textures and tastes are wonderful. My favourites are the fresh apricot juice and cherry preserves and the salamis reeking of garlic,,,, I could go on.
The local ladies dance with Dave and me and we all dance with babies and teenagers hang in the windows laughing, eventually the birthday boy who was 55 danced too. Farewells were as if they were long lost family with three kisses on alternative cheeks and hands over the heart, dispair was expressed at how badly we drunk our vodka (sips are not polite — down the hatch here). This family was so great even the 78 year old granny that wanted Dave to stay forever and I suspect he was tempted. weare invited back for next years party too.
We wanted to stay and party all night but the 5am departure to Samakand was fast approaching.