Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 27, 2012

Despite the uncertainty of finding a new place to live on such short notice, I slept relatively well and didn’t get up until past seven. After having my coffee, I proceeded to pack the printer, most of the teaching materials and books occupying my desk and some of the grocery items I thought I could do without for the next couple of days.

Elvira emailed to say she’d be busy with personal errands most of the day, but would try to meet with me after my session at Arabaev to go see another apartment close to where I’m right now. I packed most of my clothes and cleaned the bathroom again just so I don’t to think about it tomorrow.

Natalia confirmed she’d be present at Arabaev to bring the certificates, magazines and CDs. My RELO confirmed she’d approve of my covering the expenses for refreshments and certificates for the winter break workshops. That was a relief, indeed. I walked up to the Narodni supermarket close to the house and withdrew additional money to cover the 1500 soms the real estate agency would demand to provide the addresses for their listings. This agency does not provide any transportation whatsoever.

A friend who saw my post on Facebook regarding my search for a flat commented privately that many apartments were vacant but not available for rent because they are rented by the hour for prostitutes to service their clients, which is a much more profitable enterprise than the monthly rental kind. How interesting!

I walked the rest of the way and was surprised that the cold wasn’t bothering me that much. I got to Arabaev by 1:30 and noticed quite a few people gathered across the street around the Christmas tree, or New Year tree as they like to call it here. Many families and young people were milling around having their photos taken or just plain goofing off. I kept snapping photos even after noticing that some of the vendors were upset I was taking photos of their backdrops without paying for it. I just played the dumb tourist role and kept walking.

Natalia came into the Resource Center bearing gifts even for me as I was treated to another burlap handbag from the embassy, a coffee mug and a Nalgene water bottle. The coordinator for the English program for the university gave me a miniature map of Kyrgyzstan and a miniature komuz, or locally made guitar. Natalia talked about the online resources provided by the State Departments, online professional development opportunities and traveling abroad chances for teachers.

Upon her departure, we held a shortened session on dealing with multilevel classes while practicing a whole class mingle of “Find someone who…” to practice words with prefixes and then the 4-3-2 speaking activity suitable for both lower and advanced levels. Certificates were issued, photos taken and goodbyes said. 

Elvira had called during the workshop and when I called her back indicated she was still tied up helping her parents. We agreed to resume the apartment hunting tomorrow when perhaps we can count on the driver from Lingua to take us around in a more diligent manner.

Walked home again, had an early dinner and watched TV for a while still listening to the continual noises my neighbors never seem to get tired of making. I then got to watch a somewhat silly film, “Green Card”, in which the actors marry for convenience and then had to fall in love, of course. 

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