Recently I have spoken to a Russian girl who just moved to Tashkent. The only thing she knew about the town and the country before was that Uzbekistan was a part of the former USSR and is somewhere in Central Asia now. That’s all. Thereby it was especially interesting for me to find out what impression made on her the town and people living here.
Her first words on my question “How do you find Tashkent?” were “It’s small and it’s very hot here”. I suppose that would be the first phrase of anyone coming to Tashkent from crowded Moscow in June.
She told me about her first morning in Tashkent. It was about 7 am and she was asleep but a sudden voice resounding from the street woke her up. Firstly she couldn’t understand what’s going on and then heard that a woman cried out “moloko” meaning milk in Russian. Later the relatives explained her, that it was just a milk seller walking in the morning along the streets and announcing people about her product. A typical situation – every district of the city has its own milk sellers. Only women, only in the mornings and crying out “milk” only in Russian, not Uzbek.
After two months here she thinks that the city if fine, people are very nice and many Uzbek women are beautiful. However she had to face the truth that western and eastern life styles are different, even if we talk about business and work. Coming to Tashkent due to family circumstances she had to find a job and applied for many. Several times she was allegedly employed. That means, after an interview she was told that she was a suitable candidate and would be contacted by phone on the next day. However no one called on the next day or the day after. The situation repeated again and she saw that “yes” not always means “yes”, sometimes it means “no, but we cannot say it to you because we don’t want to hurt you”. She does not understand why, since in Moscow, where she comes from, job interviewees are told directly if they don’t get the job.
What she likes very much here is Uzbek cuisine, fruits, shopping on bazaars (markets) where everyone can bargain on price, and many other peculiarities which make life in Tashkent special.
I think there are many other Central Asian secrets she has to reveal and I wish her good luck with it!