Today one of our extended family members from Uzbekistan came into town, so we had what you might call a dinner party of sorts. Apparently, our guest is pretty special and thus we had very special cuisine... cow tongue and cow foot soup.
Cow tongue wasn't too horrible honestly. Done a certain way, I can see how it could be tasty. Nonetheless this particular version of cow tongue was... strange. It left a really awkward residue in your mouth and honestly I can feel that film now. Might be willing to try it again, but probably not here.
Cow foot soup on the other hand? I'm actually using every ounce of resistance I have to word this as nicely as possible. But seriously what the hell. Imagine a really fatty version of chicken noodle soup with overcooked calimari (NOT breaded) and then add all the usual Tajik necessities (dill, onion, sour cream, tomato)... Are you imagining what I endured? Probably not. The most shocking part of the experience was the absolute surprise of everyone at the table when I only had a little of this dish. I mean to each his own, but that just didn't float my boat AT ALL.
The good news is, our guests did bring out the vodka (which, if I read my Cyrillic correctly, was a product of Tajikistan). Let me tell you, part of Russia still lives on here in this post-soviet country. We had mini cups that were probably about 2-2.5 times the size of shot glasses, which are filled to the brim. Of course, sipping is an unacceptable method of consumption and one must consume the entire mini-glass in one attempt. My host dad and relative whose relation I do not entirely understand wanted to keep going (and did) after four of these. I opted out so I didn't make a bad impression.
Now for the big news!! I got offered a job teaching English at a local firm and officially accepted the position today. Salary is not too bad (by Tajik standards especially) and the job only carries a minimum requirement of three months. I will be starting in early September and staying for at least three months. My host family said that I could remain with them while working- which I'm really excited about. I'll still be coming back to the US, but my homecoming will be short lived.
Pretty pumped- it'll be really cool to start working here and experience Dushanbe when it's not ~105 degrees.