Today I also went to Tolkuҫka for the first time. Tolkuҫka is a giant bazaar outside of Așgabat. Läle and I shopped together and I got joraplar (Turkmen socks that are wool and have cool tribal designs), some nail polish for the swearing in ceremony, and the new Tarkan CD. It was a bootleg, but that’s all that’s available in Turkmenistan. It was 3 manat, which is about a dollar. I feel guilty.
Final Anew Nine Cookfest
Since we leave for Așgabat soon, the Anew Nine decided to get together one last time to make dinner. This time we made chicken curry and kartoșka frites (of course). We were joined by Julia, a T-16 who stayed a third year to work as Volunteer Support and who will be leaving in January. It was fun, but bittersweet. When I got home, my host sister asked to listen to my new Tarkan CD, so we listened to a few songs together. After that, I went to my room and put on some Dvorak. I love classical music even more while in T-stan, because they don’t really listen to it here. It is a reminder of tranquility and academia.
As you know, she is my LCF. But she is also my Turkmen BFF. She took me to pick out material for a dress for the swearing in ceremony and while we were shopping, it became apparent that we have similar taste in fashion. We found great material and designed a dress. Then she took me to her neighbor who is a tikinҫi (dressmaker) and explained what we wanted. Today (December 6), we went back for my fitting. I’m liking the way it’s looking. I’m going to be smokin’ hot in it. Läle is so funny when she talks about it. She says all the girls will be jealous of me and will try to spill cherry juice on it. She had me over for tea and dinner today as well, and it was fun just to hang out and chat. At her request, I taught her how to do her makeup better (like when she goes to cosmetics counters) and did her up like I thought she might like for the swearing in ceremony. She did like it and took the advice I gave her about tools she should buy like an eyelash curler and a round blush brush. She told me about her days in school and how she liked to hang out with boys more than girls and join them for snowball fights. She’s like me in more ways than I expected I would find in a Turkmen woman. I’m so glad that she was our LCF and really hope that after my time in T-stan, she will be able to visit me in America so I can extend to her the same hospitality she extends to me.