Today, I should have been in Bukhara enjoying the first International Festival of Gold embroidery and Jewelery. Instead, I have been in isolation for the past 11 days as I was down with Covid. I finally tested negative this morning. For the past two years, I and my husband have been careful not to contract nor spread the virus. We got ourselves vaccinated as quickly as possible and we stuck to the rules concerning distance and hygiene. We continue to wear our masks voluntarily in shops and other public spaces. Unfortunately for us, we live in an area with a low vaccination rate and many people give a fig about the rules. We always suspected the virus would get us someday. The timing was just very wrong.
This lovely chap waited in vain for me at Tashkent airport. The bitter part about it all? It turned out that the virus was circulating in the extended family we live with. They did not warn us. Some did not go for a test (they are free in Germany!). Instead, they kept coming into our apartment for a chat or to hand over the mail. We were only informed when my husband informed them that we had Covid and needed to go into isolation. They never asked if we needed any help (luckily I have a well-stocked pantry) or if we were physically okay (we were only really ill for a couple of days). We have put up with their ludicrous anti-vax stories for two years, but this amount of egoism is very hard to stomach.
Luckily, I can still enjoy a bit of the festival as Alison Cole very sweetly keeps me informed. Head over to her Facebook page to see beautiful pictures of ethnic goldwork embroidery. Let's hope the Uzbek government invites me again in 2024 for the second edition of the festival!
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