Monday, November 12, 2012
November 10, 2012
I set out for the Children’s Library by 9:00am to collect my handouts on the way there and have plenty of time to set up the laptop and LCD projector. As luck would have it, the cute guy’s hole-in-wall operation was still closed when I got there and after waiting until quarter to ten, I decided to just go to the library and deal with the lack of handouts in whatever way I could while my blood boil at the lack of professionalism that many people exhibit.
Elena, Gulnara and Elvira were already present at the American Corner and Elvira offered to go back down to the underpass to see if the guy had opened up his stall, but she called from there to say he wasn’t there and the vendor across the aisle had indicated he came in at whatever time he felt like it. It then occurred to me to go down to the American Corner and ask its coordinator to allow to me to print a few pages so the teachers could at least have some vocabulary to create their own poems, and Gulnara accompanied to complete the task.
I was late by thirty minutes beginning the workshop, but I’d say that it went relatively well except for a couple of teachers who kept whispering to each other even when other teachers were trying to read their poems aloud. Willoughby was the only Peace Corps volunteer to be present that day and I later learned that she’s been transferred from her post out in the suburbs to the city center and was looking for an apartment for $200.00 a month with a washer! I wished her luck with such tall order. We all helped put the room back in order and walked together to the underpass to see if the guy is back just so I could hurl a few insults to his face. He was open and wouldn’t look at me in the face only answering that it hadn’t been possible for him to be on time.
It was time to head home to wait for Ryan whose flight would be arriving at 2:05. I even got to take a short nap, as I still felt a bit hung over from the two drinks I had had the night before, after a light snack as Ryan had requested we had a late lunch together. He arrived before three wearing his now peculiar Capri pants and t-shirt and pulling my cherished suitcase containing all of my winter clothes and a few kitchen items. I had forgotten that I had also packed some teaching books in it and as a result, it was incredibly heavy. It was a good thing Ryan was only carrying a small backpack himself so he didn’t have to pay for excess weight at the airport.
He was exceedingly pleased with the looks of the apartment and his sleeping quarters and even managed to open the sofa bed the couch surfers had been unable to crack. We then left the flat to eat the Ken the restaurant across from the university where he ordered some pork dish, French fries, salad and beer. I had an awful tomato soup and pickled herring served over slices of cucumber and potatoes.
After finishing our meal, we walked across the street to the Ala-Too Square just as the light began to fade. Ryan took some pictures, posed for others and proposed we walk back to my place just so he could see what shops were available as he wanted to buy whatever. We stopped at the Beta store for some groceries to take the following day on the trip to Issyk-Kul Lake and at Narodni for wine. I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open and my legs were hurting for all the hours I had been standing that day and the previous one.
When we got back home, I showed Ryan where everything, was except for the lack of a corkscrew to open his wine bottle, and got ready for bed. I just had to take a peek at my suitcase to make sure everything I had left there was still intact and it was: sleeping bag, hiking boots, high heel pumps, flashlight, sweaters and tights and thermal wear, scarf and gloves, coffeemaker and grinder, coffee mug and many, many books. I was really thankful to Ryan for agreeing to keep the suitcase for almost four months and then making the trip here to bring it to me.