This week from the Blogging Abroad challenge: HOME. A touchy subject at the moment, but one worth visiting.
Home is the taxi driver laughing before I can even ask him to take a different route, straight to the university instead of the bazaar.
Home is plov with ayva, chickpeas, raisins, and Uzgenskii rice.
Home is a plane ticket with hand-written seat information, a gate that’s really just a cement room, co-travelers who carry fish in jars with no lids.
Home is mornings, afternoons, and evenings on the tapchan – hours spent laying, drinking tea, talking politics, constellations, gossip, hopes, extended family, news, time, America, everything.
Home is dancing to Kelin Kelgenskii from my laptop speakers in the kitchen, trying to translate line by line the American pop music videos for my brothers.
Home is taxi drivers yelling “Arslanbob Arslanbob Arslanbob” or “Osh Osh Osh,” because how could they know we just returned from those places?
Home is the oomin gesture every time we pass cemeteries or war memorials on the road between Jalal-Abad and Bazar Korgon.
Home is 10 foot gates guarding every house.
Home is asel, ake, tukum instead of bal, baike, jumurtka.
Home is Fornetto (a Korean cafe with heavy Italian branding that serves sushi, warm and made of chicken) and Bek Burger (a 50s-style diner that serves the best chicken tenders in Kyrgyzstan, the brain child of 2 Uzbek men who moved to Chicago in search of the secret recipe of American hamburgers), Pizzeria (though they usually don’t have pizza) and Kebab Sarayi (but their boso lagman is better).
Home is the first time I drove into Jalal-Abad, not realizing it would be so green and not expecting the gates guarding the city to be so big.
Thanks for the ride, J-bad.