My second day in Uzbekistan and Kokand in the Ferghana Valley took a surprising turn. I just solved my mobile internet problem. Coming from the Ucell Store and thinking what to do next I just walked around and found myself infront of the Applied Art Museum wondering if it might be interesting and even possible to step in as construction work was going on like in the Khan palace and other places relevant for the coming Handicraft Festival in september. I asked a man infront of the museum if it is possible to visit and he asked me from where I am. So far a normal conversation. But as I said „from Austria“ he looked at me carefully and than told me that he thinks we are facebook friends. And also me I looked at him more carefully and was surprised to see the writing „Yppsitz“ on his shirt.
In fact, we have been Facebook friends already, but have not actively contacted each other. He told me that he is a traditional blacksmith and already participated three times in events and exhibitions in Yppsitz, a small city in Lower Austria. Hasan Umarov invited me to his home and workshop and introduced me to his nice family. He told me about his experiences in Austria and his friends from Yppsitz visiting him in Kokand. For the Festival in september again he expects visitors from Yppsitz. Before the Festival his new workshop in the Applied Art Museum shall be opened. That’s why he stayed there. In december he will be in Austria again and we will be happy to welcome him in Vienna too. Before I left he showed me the impressing collection of his works and certificates.