Are you hungry?

Tonight we were invited for the conference dinner by the Ministry of Education. The venue was another hotel – which gave us a chance to get out of our hotel which is generally referred to as “The Egg” (not for eating):

THe_Egg
View of the Hotel Yyldyz where we are staying

So arriving at the Hotel Asghabat, we were seated and immediately invited to start eating – no formal opening, no long speeches while you are hungry, no waiting for celebrities. I took the opportunity to take pictures of the dishes (for eating):

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Tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh cheese and lots of herbs
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Eggplant salad with peppers, tomatoes and herbs
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Different types of cheeses
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Eggplant stuffed with something cheesy
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Cabbage and carrot salad
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Samosa-type things stuffed with meat or spinach
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Fruit for dessert

I missed out on a few dishes in between – mainly meat dishes – I leave that to your imagination. But you have to admit, it looks much better than what was served to Martha Payne.

There were some speeches of course; generally they start with “We thank our president” and end with “we thank our president”. A picture of the president hangs in/on every public building (or even every room) as you can see below – including some of the guest getting into dancing:

Dancing
Dancing under the portrait of the president

Our table – all international experts – was not very much into this. We preferred to relax, talk and drink Vodka (yes, they do drink here although it is a Muslim country – must be the Soviet heritage).

Round_table
Us international experts – not dancing

And then … the surprise of the evening: Totally unexpected, I ran into my old friend Peter Hübner from Germany  who is participating in a conference which is held parallel to ours. Jazira Asanova (Asian Development Bank) – she spoke about the mobile kindergarten – joined us for this picture. And as you can see: the president is there as well.

Hübner

 

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