Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April 10, 2013

It was another gorgeous day in Bishkek. I got to Lingua in time for my meeting with Anna, but she was running late and so I started to work on the index page for my resource booklet in the meantime.

When Anna got in, we started to work on the tedious task of actually plugging in the names of the presenters under each conference room at a specific time. She relayed to me that only four projectors were being rented for the entire conference and told her that amount wouldn’t do as I know all EFLs in particular will want to have a projector available during their presentation.

She went to talk to Aigul and then confirmed that nine projectors, one for each room, would be rented for the event. We worked until twelve and didn’t even get to the finish the presentations for first day. Anna is not available next week but on Friday and agreed to take the lists of participants home to work on it and we’ll check on the final tally next week.

I needed to have Gulnara help me deal with the landlady and the issue of the installation of the air conditioning unit. Zarina told me she was having lunch, so I went downstairs to the Halal Kitchen place and the place was jammed with diners and even all the tables in the courtyard were taken. It took forever to get my lagman noodles to go.

Back at Lingua, Gulnara listened to my situation and promptly called my landlady to let her know she was obligated by the contract she’d signed to provide the unit with an air conditioner or she’d make the arrangements to find me another place to live. Meka had asked that I paid her the month of May in advance before she went out to find the A/C and I had refused since there would be no guarantee she’d do it anyway as she’s blowing me off since February.

We went back and forth several times, but I stood firm in not paying this month’s rent until the unit is installed since temperatures are already in the mid-80s. She relented and indicated she’d find a contractor tomorrow to install it. I’ll believe it when I see it. She informed me she’d be coming by around six to pick the utility bills that had gathered here for the last three weeks.

I went home to work on the Forum newsletter since Willoughby had been really busy and hadn’t done anything with it over the weekend. She then called me to say she was in the area and would be stopping by shortly. We went over the changes I had made and we realized we still needed more information on the activities conducted by other Forum members. Willoughby promised to finish the newsletter and to meet with me on Friday if need it so it could be sent out that day.

As we walked out the building to head for the book club meeting, my landlady showed up and I introduced her to Willoughby. I had left all the bills securely attached to the door frame for her to easily retrieve them. She made no mention of the A/C and neither did I.

We had plenty of time before getting to the Adriano Café and stopped at the Tumar souvenir shop to check out the prices as Willoughby had never been there. She made a beeline for the vests and skirts made of felt material and heavily embroidered while I perused the bags, cushion covers and other knickknacks made from the same materials. Everything seemed too expensive to me though with a cushion cover costing 1100 soms or almost $24.00.

I got a call from Max letting me know he was already at the café. I was delighted to hear he had fulfilled his promise and found the time to join us. Elvira, Gulnara and an older female teacher whose name remains unpronounceable to me were already seated at the back of the room. The manager recognized me and came to greet us. Four of the pre-service teachers also arrived at this time.

The two pizzas Gulnara had ordered took forever to arrive and turned out to be not much larger than the personal size ones we eat in the States. There wasn’t enough to go around for the thirteen attendees. She had also ordered a bottle of wine which turned out to be cabernet sauvignon from Chile which not was too dry. We all went home hungry and Max indicated he was heading to a pizzeria to have one all to himself.

We settled on meeting again on May 15 at the Chinese café suggested by Max which is not too far from Ala-Too Square. Willoughby and I tried to cajole Elvira into hosting the next meeting, but she stubbornly said she wasn’t ready yet. Luann, a Couch Surfer I had met online, came to join us and along with Rebecca walked me home. She was heading to a club to listen to jazz and extended an invitation, but I wasn’t interested.

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