Troubled Waters

Welp, another long break in the blog. I guess I'm just not cut out for this whole blogging thing... 

Good god, but a lot has happened since I last wrote (and I won't go into politics).

We went to the Czech Republic over Christmas break, which was fabulously beautiful. Alex liked it so much, he announced he wanted to move there when he grew up. There were a lot of castles everywhere, and it was magical, with the trees crusted with a shimmery frost that lent a fairy kingdom feel to everything. It was cold, though!

We got a cat and named her Luna. She is sweet, and in heat this week. We plan to get her fixed this week, although I am nervous because I don't know how to ask for this in Russian.

I have joined forces with Claire, and am putting on a tie four days a week to help around the office. This has been the biggest adjustment for me, as I have had to try to engage in a sphere of activity (diplomacy and international relations) that I've never really had any active connection to. Aside from kitchen table conversations, that is. The reality of it is far more mind-numbing, with boatloads of emails every day from around the world on every major human issue out there. "Drinking from the fire hose" really barely begins to describe the experience...

Ah, but I hear the worries of the reader now--"Is everything okay in Uzbekistan? What are the 'Troubled Waters' to which he refers?"

Rest easy. The 'Troubled Waters' in the title are literal waters. Our existence here seems star-crossed when it comes to actual water. 

There's the dipping pool in our basement. This is a great thing--except that the pump and heater have not worked for a couple of months now, ever since I tried turning them on and the electrical panel exploded in a shower of sparks. By now, the water is extremely cold, and a strange shade of green, and we haven't gone in for a few months. Although there have been repairs made, I am not certain of their status, and I can assure you that I will not be the first one to throw the switch the next time!

Then there's the planting area out front of the house, where we put in a nice ground cover and some shrubs to give the place a nice curb appeal. Unfortunately, there is no drainage in the area, so, as the winter rains came along, our nice planting area became increasingly boggy, to the point now where I am wishing we had planted cranberries instead. My driver and I have taken to referring to this area as "the second pool."

On a third front, our dishwasher for a while repeatedly and randomly decided it was tired, and would stop before the cycle was done, leaving a murky pool of water at the bottom of the unit. Mind you, the dishwasher is new, so it really shouldn't get tired. Thankfully, the machine has changed its mind recently, and generally works for us.

And just this weekend, our washing machine decided to follow the dishwasher's lead, and stop in mid-cycle, leaving our clothes in a similarly murky pool of water. Thankfully, the Embassy came by with a new-ish washer for us, so we won't have to walk around Tashkent adding our particular dirty clothes aroma to the atmosphere.

So, you see, the waters of Tashkent for us have been quite troubled.

As for other, non-water-related things, it's going pretty well. Claire and Alex are doing great. Alex has a great time at school. I am helping out at the school library still, once a week. Although it still goes up and down, I am noticing that my ability to communicate in Russian has increased. Wonders never cease!