Assalomu Alaykum! Salamatsyzby! здравствуйте!

Assalomu Alaykum! Salamatsyzby! здравствуйте! Hello!

My name is Kristina and I am a 26-year-old Austrian with a slight obsession with Central Asia and travelling to the more remote parts of the world. Learning a lot (of and about) languages, foreign cultures and trying to gain a better understanding of traditions while teaching German has been my mission in the past years.
Initially, this blog started out as a mere means to inform my friends and family about my life and adventures when I first moved to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It became a lot more than that to me after realizing that writing helped me to make sense of the strange world surrounding me, to deal with culture shock as well as to help me organize the chaos in my head. My Central Asian adventures haven't ended yet and I am looking forward to entertaining you with some more (crazy) stories from Kyrgyzstan in the very soon future!

I am also a couchsurf host - if you're planning a trip to Naryn, let me know on here and we can take it from there :)

I am always happy to hear from my readers, so please don't hesitate to contact me if you have comments or questions, about travel tips in Central Asia or about life in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan :)

Much love,

Dienstag, 27. November 2012

so dies und das

Another week in Tashkent has passed. Since we are only one month away from the 21st of December, one of the main topics Ulli and I have been discussing was: What are we going to do before the world is going to end? Obviously possibilities in Tashkent are limited, but both of us fantasized about what we would do if nothing held us back and if we could go wherever we want to go. My answer was that I would go back to the places I’ve been and to share a moment of friendship with people that I have met throughout my life, that mean something to me, particularly those who I haven’t seen in a very long time. Though at 24 I don’t feel too old, I feel like there are a lot of places, faces and memories that I have left behind and moved on from, that I would like to relive one more time, for the mere sake of these moments' beauty and of my feeling at peace. Since I am a poor intern in Tashkent, it’s impossible for me to do this. Instead, I am going to do the things that I love – and I am still working on this list – which, for Uzbekistan, would be:
Grab a guitar and sing. Go for breakfast at “Bon!” with Ernest and Ricardo (who, sadly, isn’t in Tashkent anymore). Share a good laugh over a glass of appalling Uzbek wine with Ulli on the cozy couch in our apartment. Eat Lavash with Ulli (and Nodi). Smoke shisha and drink chai c limonom at Al Qasr. Chat away with my students…. to be continued..

This weekend was finally the moment of truth regarding our theatre project. The piece that we’ve been rehearsing the past weeks was actually a play that the group had already performed in June, but since some of the actors were no longer studying at the university, we had to find new people in order to play it at the Theatre Festival organized by the German embassy. The rehearsals were stressful and chaotic, and I was genuinely worried that something would go horribly wrong. The festival was held at the Youth Theatre, a big, proper theatre in Tashkent, and there were many obstacles regarding the organization of the right lighting, the music and, also, some of the actors didn’t even show up for the rehearsals. But: everything worked out so so well, and I am very proud of my students for having performed so extremely well. Since Matthias is currently in Russia, I was asked to give a little speech in the beginning, with a microphone. I was nervous, but it went well. So happy. I will post some photos next time. Now, I cannot wait until Matthias is back and until we can cast a new crowd and organize our own play.. our own “baby”!

Teaching is going well – obviously sometimes I get up in the morning and say to Ulli “I don’t feel like teaching today”, but I don’t have a reason, really. My students are still lovely and motivated, and they inspire me for new ideas that I won’t share just yet. Let me, however, give you a small impression of what Uzbekistan is like by showing you some of the work my students did in one of my lessons. I had them listen to the song “Weil ich ein Kölner bin” by a German band called Wise Guys, so that they could rewrite it, saying “Weil ich Usbek/in bin” in order to reflect on their own culture and possible stereotypes related to it. The following lines are a mixture of the lyrics that they wrote:

Du fragst, warum ich schwarze Haare habe
Du fragst, warum ich immer grünen und schwarzen Tee trinke
Du fragst, warum Usbeken ganz gastfreundlich und kinderlieb sind
Du fragst, warum unsere Feste so traditionell und schön sind
Du fragst ziemlich viele Sachen…

Du fragst, warum ich scheinbar immer gute Laune habe
Du fragst, warum ich nicht immer Taschkenter Essen sondern lieber Tandirkabab esse
Du fragst, warum ich so stolz auf meine Stadt bin, weil ich die Enkelin von Amir Temur bin
Du fragst, warum ich sehr gut reiten kann
Du fragst, warum ich nationale Kleidung mit Mandelblumen trage
du fragst, warum die meisten Tadjikisch sprechen (*Anm.: diese Gruppe war aus Samarkand)
du fragst, warum unsere Bräute Kleidung aus Stickerei tragen
Du fragst, warum wir am Donnerstag Plov kochen
Du fragst, warum Samarkand die Perle des Orients ist
und warum wir unsere Stadt von Herzen lieben
du fragst ziemlich viele Sachen..

Doch es hat keinen tieferen Sinn –
es ist nur, weil ich Usbeke bin
Nimm es einfach hin –
es ist nur, weil ich Usbeke bin
Weil ich Usbeke bin

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