Today’s adventure was another trip to the market. We took tow different buses to the far south of the city to one of the largest markets in town. I like to visit this market because they have a lot more traditional goods. Today’s goal was to buy something I’ve always wanted to get…… a sanduk. Sanduks are the Tajik/ Uzbek version of hope chests. When girls get married they are expected to go to their new home with a sanduk filled with sheets, towels, pillow cases, clothes, etc… Since our apartment doesn’t have any closets or dressers, I thought it would be perfect to store my clothes in for when I’m here.
At the bazaar there was an area where 3 or 4 guys were selling their sanduks. They had them stacked 3-4 high and all sorts of designs on the front. Eric and I searched around to check out which ones we liked and finally settled on these two. If anyone’s been to our house they’ve seen the miniature versions that I have on some of my book shelves. The ones I have are pretty rough inside, but when you ask the sellers they line them with cloth if you’re actually going to put clothes and things inside. Most people buy them unfinished from the sellers and them finish them their selves, but I though it much better to have experienced masters line the chests.
Three or four guys opened up the chests, pounded down the tips of the nails that were showing through and lined them with red velvet. Then they nailed it in place. It took about 30-45 minutes to do and in the mean time we chatted. The chatting was the best part. I’m doing pretty well with my Tajik and these guys had all sorts of the usual questions: Where are you from, do you have a car? How’s life over there, is there work? How old are you? Are you married? Do you have brothers and sisters? What do your parents do? The last one is always tough because how do you describe insurance salesman to people who don’t know what insurance is….. I usually end up just saying in the end “ businessman.” To top it all off, while they were finishing our Sanduks one of the sellers bought a watermelon and shared it with us. It hit the spot because it was pretty hot outside.