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10.28.2002 ||>  

Okay, so trainings all over and in about 4 days I'll have my swearing-in ceremony where I actually become a volunteer. After that, it's counting down from 7-3-0...

You know I've been waiting to say that.

Anyway, I went to a toy, which is the Uzbek word for wedding. I actually don't use the word wedding anymore, I'm more like, "Oh, my friend Paula had a toy back int he states." Yes I am really wierd, but getting back to the point, it was okay. It actually amuses most Uzbeks that i don't know the Russian word for wedding, but I know "toy." Anyway, my really fun story from it was how I got my host dad to shut up about drinking. Basically, a week or so ago, I promised my host father that I would drink vodka with him "later," because he kept asking me to have a shot with him. He'll say, "but this is good vodka, see it's from Kazakhstan." I just kept refusing, and he caught me one night and all I could do after was put him off. So on Saturday, at the toy, my host-uncle opened the bottle and offered me some, and I took it, telling the women that I was a good girl, but I did promise my host father. So I put the vodka in Fanta (which is orange soda) and drunk it down. That was the first thing that really disturbed them, since people don't mix drinks here. They do a shot and eat a piece of cucumber like good Russians. Then I did a regular shot and I could see them get a little nervous, because they had never seen me drink anything before. Then we danced and later as the men poured out another shot, I offered up my glass and that was it. My host-uncle cut me off. I insisted (or pretended to insist since most of this was to get them to shut up), and he refused, saying I shouldn't be drinking in public with men. I looked him in the eye and said "You're right." I'm pretty sure I proved my point and will not be bothered again. Let's hope...

It sounds like lots of things are going on in Arizona. Although I was thinking just the other day how extremely wierd my ex Carey is. I mean, I remember right before I left for Uzbekistan, he kept telling me shit like, "be careful and keep your mouth shut," blah blah, woof woof. How wrong is that guy?! I mean, I'm part of a beautiful, multilingual culture with people that for the most part are welcoming and kind. I mean, the lack of showering, obsession with being warm and the insistence that drinking cold water makes you sick aside, Uzbeks are pretty damn cool. And that whole thing where he kept saying how conservative I have to be? Well, you just saw my drinking story. It's also hard not to laugh at that statement when you see the fig-leaf skirts and stiletto heels most of the girls sport over here. Dude, not every Muslim country is conservative, although there are certainly conservative moments. Like after the toy, when the new bride had to "assolumu alayukum" every person in the room. Or when they told me I couldn't wear pants at school (although I hear there's a way around that). Anyway, let me have this moment in a little chuckle to my paranoid ex. Not that I dislike him, just that he's sort of delusional.

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