Thursday, September 10, 2009

Havali - Garden House


In a confused and exacerbated attempt to find privacy, tranquillity and a place to wander around in your boxers during Ramadam, we decided to explore the realtor market of Dushanbe.

Dilya appears with over sized sunglasses and tight shoes at the office and promises to show us the best of what’s on offer, thankfully, she meant houses. To the North is Dushanbe’s Beverly Hills, where the ambassadors puff cigars and country directors count their donations behind formidable grey gates, cocooned away from the trials and tribulations of Dushanbe life. These houses are budgeted under consumable expenses and bring on seizures of jealously and envy.

Dilya slides the ten tonne bolt across the grey iron door and presents us with a small holiday resort. Once we checked in at the guard house, checked out the main facilities, are shown the annexes, the external guest houses, the lorry park, the collection of toilet cubicles and the gas sauna, you start looking for signposts to the bar.

For a thousand dollars a month you can rent the most inappropriate use of space possible. You walk through the kitchen to the bedroom, through to the lounge through the study, to the dinning room, to the sauna, to the utility room, cross the court yard for the shower room, back across to the sauna, before ending up where you started wondering why you left in the first place. Tajik houses are deigned for extended tribes of families, who consider sauntering through your guest bedroom as social etiquette. In fact if you rent one of these labyrinths there is a good chance your neighbouring landlord will have a secret door so he can pop over to your Narnia and tap into your electric when you are lost in the far reaches of the court yard.

Dilya showed great restraint and patience as we ploughed our way through ten inappropriate houses, due to; layout, location, prices, layout, facilities, furnishing, and of course layout. Once you consider the major price discrepancies, the large deposits, and the insistence that you have a guard, gardener, cleaner and Saturday night entertainer, I have decided to order a tent to pitch in the presidential gardens. President Rahmon is never at home so the electric is safe.

Eventually Dilya was thrown onto the realtor scrap heap and replaced by a gruff voiced Russian pole-vaulter; Saidbek, who showed us some new, some old, some we’d seen before and some renovated. We opted for the renovated, modelled on the orient express, a long corridor down the left and lots of compartments on the right. If the all the internal windows to the compartments are open we think we can run a 50m hurdle race front to back. Come visit and bring your lycra.

2 comments:

Davey S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave W said...

Is that a large rat or a small loo brush under the van?

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