To provide you with an insight into insular ex-pat communities, bonded by circumstance and the subsequent trials and tribulations of life in Tajikistan let me drop in a few observations.
So, Lord Waverly was sent/ requested/ or found himself on the wrong plane to Tajikistan on a fact finding reconnaissance mission for the other cognac drinking peers. So that he would not feel home sick, representatives of the UKs three non-descript political parties tagged along to make sure that all the special reserves were sucked dry.
As one of forty British citizens in the country, the volunteers were invited to a formal ‘drink and nibbles’ or now known as ‘snort and scoff’. Ambassador Trevor, kindly hosted the occasion and the dignitary’s chorkelled and slap backs with other dignitaries, ambassadors, socialites and me. Before I could finish the gin bottle and clear the soufflé, the obligatory speeches started with the usual dryness of a Bristol Sherry. These were concluded by Lord Waverly in what should be described as aristocratic scruffy attire. In his plum voice he thanked all involved and their grandma’s, he then proceeded to raise a toast to our host country, albeit with an empty glass, in fact with no glass at all, the guest of honor help divert an international incident and reluctantly proffered his orange juice.
Unfortunately, peerages were only available at Woolworths, however, the rumour is that the next release comes free with a magazine subscription to Horse and Hound; 5.99 for the first copy and several hectares of hunting land for the remaining editions.
Other observations that are hard to place in context are seeing the American Ambassador do Cheerleader style splits on the Indian Ambassadors lawn, who in turn can be found sauntering around the tennis courts of a Saturday morning. The French Ambassador uses a silver cane for arduous hikes in the mountains, whilst the Japanese Concierge’s wife is pleasantly attentive at parties.
To finish with we were, after a little cajouling, attendees at the 237th US Marine Ball, over 180 guests came to celebrate with the 7 Marines in the country. After an exercise drill involving four marines, a cake and a sharp implement, the evening descended in ‘a bit of do’; some danced and wiggled to Tajik music whilst other observed from a suitable distance, and some left before there significant others became soo plastered that they might jepordised their careers. By all accounts only one of the hotel rooms was used.
As you may have realised I have now absconded from the world of volunteering and what it entails. I am now generally begging for paid work to beef up the imaginary pension fund and resurrect my high profile career.
The content of the blog is a distorted and off the cuff review of my time in Tajikistan whilst volunteering.Hopefully, it will entice you to sample the country for yourself and build up your own repertoire of arm chair stories.
Any comments, notes, or general abuse are always welcome.
*these are all my comments and not the views held by VSO.