As PCS (permanent change of station, i.e. moving time) season is upon us, I’ve taken a moment to think back on what I miss most from our last assignment and what I think I’ll miss most from this one. Life in the Foreign Service is a life inevitably full of nostalgia, as any life that is full of drastic moves and changes can be. We are down to our last hours in Serbia and I am sure I will soon write a post about our time here, but just thinking about it is making me sad; instead, I will think about Uzbekistan right now.
Our life in Tashkent was calm and quiet, but great. I had a great job I loved (no small feat for a spouse), with good coworkers and we made some great friends. The embassy community was fantastic, and although travel was not the easiest, we did get to some great places, both within Uzbekistan (Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Fergana Valley, etc.) and Asian spots farther out (India, Thailand), though Kyrgyzstan was the only other “stan” I added to my list (Grant did make it to Kazakhstan before I arrived).
Beyond missing the things mentioned above and a good life-work balance for my FSO husband, I also have one big regret: that we didn’t get a carpet from the Khiva Silk Workshop. Their work is incredible and unique, and I’ve never been able to pick my favorite from the designs they have online — and I am very picky when it comes to my carpets! We did get two beautiful handmade suzani from the shop, and what I really like about them is that they are truly unique and I have never seen others even somewhat like them.
I don’t think there will be something from Serbia I regret not buying — we did get some interesting things (such as a gorgeous, antique trunk and a really cool wooden wine rack), but there is not a huge craft culture here like there is in Uzbekistan. But oh, there are many, many things I will miss: the weather (most of the time), the food, the green markets, and of course, the people… just to name a few. Now I need to stop myself from getting too teary and go enjoy our last few things here before we leave!
What do you regret from places you’ve left? Do you find yourself getting nostalgic before leaving one place for another?