On the 14 June the British Embassy held a reception at the Hyatt Hotel in Duchanbe to celebrate the Queen's official birthday. All British citizens are invited, along with people from other embassys in the city and local partners.
As you can see, Lynne and I dressed up for the occassion, the first outing for my newly made Tajik dress, the picture doesn't do it justice, as it has a lot of glitter round the neck and silver threads running through the fabric. Sadly I just don't have the range of accessories to make it look good.
We were all introduced to the Ambassador and his staff when we arrived and treated to any amount of food and drinks. They pushed the boat out and had fish and chips, as well as Chicken Tikka Massala, both very good. the desserts were delicious - a combination of fresh fruit, meringues, bread and butter pudding and other delicacies. I had the biggest gin and tonic I have ever had in my life, so just the one.
After the formal speeches and the anthems, the big screen showed the royal wedding, everyone here loves the royal family and the formality of the events. There was a band playing a combination of Tajik music and sort of bossonova. The Tajik People love to dance and are very good at it, so they were the first on the floor, joined later by a small but enthusiastic group of Brits and Germans. It was good fun.
Duchanbe is such a small place, with relatively few visitors that you soon start to see people that you have met before and have a chance to meet new ones too. There were two Cambridge students at the event, one I had met before, called Zac and Ash. Ash is a Girton college student, what a small world!
The Hyatt hotel was a real treat, fully air conditioned and very helpful waiters who rushed off to get whatever you requested. When we left we asked the porter to ring for a taxi - which came quickly. The taxi driver spoke some English and chatted on the way home. We asked 'how much' and he said he didn't know what to charge, what would we like to pay. So we payed the same as we did on the outward journey. It was such a fun evening, and a chance to do one of those things that I won't do very often.
But today I have had some stomach pains and slept all afternoon. have had to miss a birthday meal this evening as a consequence, but hope to be better tomorrow, so that I can go out and see some of the countryside on a field trip. More news soon. XXX