Yesterday was the annual handicraft fair coordinated by the Bactria Cultural Centre. With Christmas shopping high on the priority list, I suited up and took on the challenge with my friend Brandy. We headed over to the newly opened Hyatt where the event was being held.
The Hyatt is the first high end hotel to open up in Dushanbe. Don't think that we get this kind of treatment everywhere we go in Dushanbe. It really is like walking onto another continent.
I think I just blew our cover that we live in a developing country....really, we live in Bangkok!
Ok. You are too smart for that. We really do live in Dushanbe.
I bought a few of these Christmas tree ornaments. They are miniature Tajik hats. Too cute.
While I didn't buy it, here's a traditional Tajik men's winter coat. I love them! If I were smart, I would have bought one for me to use as a robe when the internal temperature of our house reaches a high of 42 degrees in February.
Geologically speaking, I'm not an expert on the semi-precious stones that inhabit the Tajik earth, but they abound. There were necklaces galore, not to mention earrings, bracelets and....
...even mood rings.
I'm not too sure about the lover part, but sometimes an early warning sign of my mood comes in handy to others. Red = cranky = keep your distance.
There were beautiful suzani. Some old, some new. They seem to be all the rage in the U.S. right now. I could hardly open a magazine without seeing a chair or foot stool recovered in an old suzani or a pillowcase with the suzani motif.
And there were mini Tajik men and women.
And beautiful hand carved bowls made from the wood of walnut trees. This is a specific bowl that's used when making kurtob, a dish of layered bread, yogurt, onion and cilantro. Check out these pictures from www.uncorneredmarket.com.
And I bought these special serving spoons with the hopes of turning this into a salad bowl. If anyone knows how to season the wood in order to do that, I'm all ears.
More cool bowls. Not sure what kind of wood it is though.
And there were handwoven baskets. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that the small ones with the handles make for excellent Easter baskets for little people to put their hunted eggs into.
And here's the drummer man. I bought three from him last year. I loved the robin's egg blue on the edges. I approached him with my kurtob bowl and he asked me how much I paid for it. After telling him, I was relieved when he told me I didn't get ripped off.
He was also selling some other hand made local instruments. Notice my ambiguity? That's because that's the extent of my Tajik musical instrument knowledge.
I bought this rug. Merry Christmas to me. Merry Christmas to me. Merry Christmas dear Julie, Merry Christmas to me. It looks great at the foot of our bed.
I bought these wool slippers for the girls. I have my doubts whether they'll wear them or not. They are pretty scratchy.
And the piece d'resistance? This old coral necklace with supposedly one hundred year old coins. The woman translating for the seller said that this was her mother's grandmother's necklace. True or not, I love it.
Merry Christmas to me. Merry Christmas to me. Merry Christmas, dear Julie, Merry Christmas to me!
I love the wonky copper coin. The only one of the bunch.
Being the thoughtful wife that I am, I opted for the gift box.
I'll do my best to keep it under the tree until December 25th.