Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 12, 2012

I slept relatively well once Ryan turned off the floor heater and opened up the window for a while as small the room had turned suffocatingly hot. I had begged the server the night before to give me a bit of instant coffee as the dining room would not be open, not even for coffee, until 8:30am. I was able to make two cups of coffee with it and the sugar I had pilfered from the table and sat on the toilet lid to read for a while so as not to wake up Ryan. He was up at seven, had a cup of coffee and a piece of pastry and then we went out to the lake to take some photos of the rising sun.

It was quite cold as you could see the frost over the bushes and shimmering from the grains of sand along the lake, but what a view as the light hit the trees in the horizon and then the mountains. Ryan had arranged for the same taxi driver who had brought us to the Raduga Resort to return and take us back to Bishkek even after I warned him I’d not be able to share the cost fifty-fifty as we had done so far for the driver had requested 2500 soms or about $50.00. He was expected to show up at nine as Ryan wanted to be back in the city early to meet with other people he knew.

We were served a generous breakfast that started out with an oatmeal porridge I turned down, but which Ryan promptly combined with his, followed by two fried eggs and a hot dog and then crepes with no syrup or jam. On the table, they had already placed slices of cheese, bologna and salami along with tomatoes and cucumbers. Coffee, tea and milk were also brought out along with some slices of bland bread. I fashioned a sandwich with the bread, cheese and salami, had the two fried eggs and tasted one of the cold crepes before having to rush back to the cabin to pick up my backpack and get into the waiting taxi.

Ryan got the driver to stop a few times so he could get a particularly beautiful landscape shot and later on to buy smoked fish from one of the roadside stands. I purchased two large ones for dinner. We made it into Bishkek by 12:40, considerably earlier than expected as my acquaintances had warned me the trip to the lake took about five hours. It was time to head to Lingua to retrieve my laptop, which was supposedly ready, and for Ryan to do some more shopping particularly at the Adidas shop and then Benetton.

It started to rain when we got there and everyone at Lingua couldn’t help but stare at Ryan who was still wearing his trademark Capri pants and t-shirt. I showed him around and introduced him to those present. We then went downstairs to have lunch at the Halal Kitchen where we shared an order of lagman, salad and flat bread. The lemon tea was not what they serve in Tajikistan, and Ryan was quite disappointed with it.

Despite the rain, we walked to the Victory Park monument so he could have his photo taken there and then walked toward the Tsum department store for him to buy yet more souvenirs. I needed to pay for my Internet connection and after doing so, we moved to the Adidas store where he bought a lightweight sweatshirt for $120.00 and another t-shirt with their famous logo. I was accosted by a drunken man while waiting for Ryan and the staff swiftly pushed him out the door causing the man to fall on the slippery floor. When he tried to walk back inside, two the guys roughly threw him outside. I was mortified to have been a witness to such cruelty and had no way to convey my discomfort.

We got into a taxi in the driving rain and ended up with a driver who was deaf-mute and asked us to write down our destination, something neither one of us was capable of doing. Ryan gestured he would guide him to the exact location and to his credit did exactly that. I was relieved to be home and wanted nothing to do with going out to dinner later on as the rain turned into snow by early evening.

Ryan’s friend agreed to meet him at the Benetton store and they came back to the flat together to discuss some grant application the guy was working on. When they decided to try the Japanese restaurant I had recommended, Wasabi, I bid them goodbye preferring to have some old leftovers to going out again.

My laptop was in exactly the same shape I had left it Friday with no programs on the desktop and Microsoft Office 2010 completely gone. I had no idea what this IT person had done with it all weekend and since we can’t communicate in Russian, doubt that I can ever find out. I went to bed around half past ten and Ryan was still out. I admire his willingness to go out in all kinds of weather.

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