Time for Random Thoughts from The Uz:

-I can see why people say to get your meat in the morning at the markets. Some don’t have refrigerated cases.
-They hand you the cut of beef you want to buy to feel first. No thank you, I will buy mine from the grocery store where 15 people have *hopefully* handled it with gloves instead of bare hands.
-We’ve had a social life here now that temperatures have dropped a bit. It’s been nice since the expat community is very small here.
-The Marine Ball is in November and I’ve already ordered my dress. I bought it off Ebay because I tried it on in the store a long time ago and loved it, but didn’t want to pay $300 for it. I’m hoping it gets here in good condition.

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-I got to go to an Uzbek wedding! The son of my employee got married and he invited people from the Embassy so I was only here a month and got the honor to attend. As are all weddings here, it was a lavish affair that was a mix of a Disney dinner ‘show’, a disco and a reception. The dresses all the women wore were beautiful and I know the dresses were custom made for the event.... and it showed. Also worth noting: I dance with my hips. They dance with their hands/wrists. My wrists do not dance well.
-Related: I have now tried horse meat (kazi)
-We have found that our housekeeper LOVES to bake and was very, very excited when we received our stand mixer. She asks to take the dog on a walk (um. Please do. Anytime) and makes whatever we want. She’s made us: cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins and brownies (from a mix). We share her time with another person from the embassy and she was also excited to know that the housekeeper could make cinnamon rolls and follow English recipes. We struck gold with her. GOLD. She also doesn’t take shit from anyone in the market. You want to try the ‘Foreigner’ price with her because Bellafella is there? Not going to cut it. she also said the only holidays she wanted off were her son’s birthday and New Years. Yeah, you’re getting all the holidays off if they fall on our days. Nice try though!
-Learning left, right and straight (in Russian) in reference to being in a taxi has been SO LIBERATING. Between Google maps, landmarks and directionals, we have much better luck with taxis.
-Men seem to want to always carry things for me. Our driver (yes, we hired a driver) never lets me carry things and gave me a slightly offended look when I told him I could carry a 2lb box. It’s sometimes very handy, other times annoying.
-A pro of working in a small Embassy: the 2 parties you attend on one weekend, you get facetime with her both times. One of which, you spend 30 minutes talking about your pets with 3 other people and BellaFella talked about his fish knowledge. He is now knows as the fish tank person to the local staff that have one in their office and the Ambassador knows. I have a feeling his services will be more widely volunteered in the future.
-Con of working in a small Embassy: sometimes people feel the need to get up when the Ambassador walks into the room of a party. One we attended 2 weeks ago was a lunch at someone’s house on a Saturday. She walked in, everyone started to stand.... but me. Nice try, but this is my weekend. You come in to a room for a meeting? I’ll stand. You come into a room on a weekend when I’m wearing jeans? Jokes on you, I’m sitting. I don’t know why my mom ever said I have a problem with authority.....

And now my Cat Conundrum: As you may remember, we have 2 kitties. One is slightly overweight, one is underweight. When we were at the vet before we left the US, she didn’t seem too concerned, but mainly because there wasn’t a pattern of weight loss as we’d only seen them over the course of a month. However, we think she’s too skinny. She is maybe 8-9lbs but has always been a lanky cat. I know she has a different body type than the other cat, but we’re concerned because... well.... she’s skinny.

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I don’t have a top view or side view of her because she instantly flops down on the ground whenever we get near. Belly rubs for this kitty, ‘er day.

Anyway, the vet care here is lackluster so it will not be our first option. Considering they mostly deal with animals that are on their last leg at the vet’s here, seeing a mostly healthy but skinny cat will probably not phase them. We’ve tried giving her canned food, but she mainly just licks the gravy and eats a little so it becomes a waste. The only wet cat food we can get here is Friskies (at the commissary) unless there is a variety that does NOT have a pop top. We free-feed dry food to both cats and have a water bowl always available which they both drink from with gusto. We’re not sure if we should try a different brand of dry food (though I did just order a different variety of Blue Buffalo than the one the current variety) or start trying to find different wet food or if we should be more concerned and go to the vet.

Edit: Forgot to mention we also have a 16oz per package limit on shipments. So that makes it even more fun. Since cat food may be considered half solids, I may be able to fudge a little, but not a ton.

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So I’m hoping some of you lovely people here have some insight and suggestions.