Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 22, 2012

I knew last night that today would be bone-chilling cold as the temperature was a measly 5 degree Fahrenheit when I went to bed, so it wasn’t too shocking to see the mercury at -2 this morning. I needed to bundle up in order to walk to the bakery and buy a cake to take to the Thanksgiving dinner.

The cold weather had had the intended consequence of converting the streets and sidewalks into a huge ice rink and I could hardly find a spot to place my boot where it would not skid forward. Just as in Dushanbe, I saw young people putting their lives at risk by skating down the sidewalk with no protective gear whatsoever to soften the blow of a fall.

I draped my scarf over my mouth to keep me from inhaling the frosty air. The wind had died down and at least the snow was no longer drifting down on the pedestrians. There were quite a few people out and about, but then I needed to remind myself that it wasn’t a holiday here.

When I got to the bakery, I found five women gathered at a table behind the vitrines having a tea break. I motioned for the chocolate cake I found most enticing and was glad to see they all had prices clearly marked. They packed it in a pretty box and tied it with a ribbon.

When I attempted to email Christian for the final arrangements to get to his house, I got an automatic “Out of the Office” reply and his mobile would not allow my call to go through. I was incredibly annoyed at having gone through the trouble of buying something for the gathering and then not having even the exact address to get there. I sent another email letting him know I was trying to call him and then gave up on it. I really didn’t need to have another huge meal and I don’t even eat turkey.

Received an email from Grace, a Fulbrighter in Dushanbe who has been introduced to me through Ryan as she’ll be visiting Bishkek at the end of the month for a conference and would love to have someone show her around. She related she was on her way to the dinner sponsored by the embassy along with the rest of the ELFs. I got another email from Zarina notifying me that two pieces of mail had arrived for me from the States.

Spent the rest of the afternoon finalizing the details for my presentation tomorrow, going through the magazines ripping out photos and watching another movie, “The French Lieutenant’s Wife”, but the washed out colors, difficult to follow plot and less than stellar performances by Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep made for an unsatisfactory experience.

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