Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012

I feel as if I can no longer trust Google to provide accurate weather temperature for me in Bishkek. When I got up, it said the temperature was a frigid -6 and it was supposed to be snowing while a weak sun was shining outside despite the heavy clouds in the horizon. By mid-day, it claimed the temperature had risen to -2 in spite of its own forecast which stated it should have gone up to 14 degrees. As I ready myself to go to bed, it reads 1 degree. Ridiculous!

The streets and sidewalks were padded with the additional snow that had fallen over the weekend, but continued to be slippery. I had my Russian class by showing Ainura the Russian picture dictionary I had downloaded to my tablet, but which had been pretty much useless to me since it contained no transliteration into the Roman alphabet. We went through numerous pages with Ainura helping me read the Cyrillic letters, which was a bit difficult as the print appeared somewhat faded. We agreed to meet again on Wednesday.
I almost slipped on the way to catching the minibus and reminded myself to walk slowly and deliberately. When I got to the entrance to the Lingua offices, I ran into Natalia who was sporting a splint on her left hand. She related she had fallen the day before while doing her shopping, but apparently hadn’t fractured it. We exchanged some other bits of information and then said goodbye.

Neither Olga nor Gulnara were present yet for the next round of interviews, so I sat down to print some materials for the workshop tomorrow. I reminded Zarina to call my landlady and inform her about the continual noise issue at my flat and she came back to tell me there was a person in each building responsible for upholding the rules regarding what hours construction or remodeling could go on and she’d contacting this person to report it. The landlady said she was sorry I hadn’t spoken about it sooner. I don’t quite believe she’d be so diligent about this as she hasn’t shown much interest in anything I have reported before.

When I inquired about buying some samsis for lunch, Zarina told me the guy wasn’t coming in today but then came back to tell me a luncheon was taking place for a new group of trainees at a new restaurant called “Coyote Ugly” that had just opened on the first floor. She invited me to come along and then asked Aigul, the accountant, if I needed to pay separately, and Aigul said no. The salads were delicious, the white bread I didn’t touch and when the main course came in, a piece of chicken breast and white rice, I passed.

                       Having lunch at the new "Coyote Ugly" restaurant with a group of teachers

Gulnara and I interviewed four more teachers today, all women, and decided on the schedule for their micro-teaching sessions. I’ve never participated in these types of sessions except when I was doing my own presentations at FIU a long time ago. I’m looking forward to seeing them as some of the young teachers appear to really have a flair for teaching. Olga came in right before the last applicant and related she had fallen on the way to the school and had ripped her pants thus necessitating her going back home to change. She was physically all right though.

I left Lingua after printing some handouts and got into a marshrutka relatively easily, but pretty soon it was once again stuffed to the gills with passengers and couldn’t see out the window. Big and tall guys that should make an effort to move to the back as soon as possible to facilitate the exiting passengers, insist on standing by the door practically blocking any movement on or off. I need to study the possibility of paying for a taxi just to take me home as I usually don’t have this problem coming to Lingua, but going home only.

Woody Allen delighted me once again as I watched one of his earliest films, “Take the Money and Run”, where he plays an inept criminal who bungles every job, but finds a way to get out of jail quite easily. He’s a real genius when it comes to filmmaking.

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