Thursday, April 25, 2013

April 23, 2013

My room was quiet and the bed relatively comfortable, but in spite of all that, I slept badly again. I got up before six and took my coffeemaker to the bar on the fifth floor where the housekeeper had assured a hot plate would be available for me to make coffee. The contraption was homemade and appeared ancient. It took about half an hour for the coffee to percolate while I chitchatted with Sasha, the young bartender.

Breakfast was served at eight, so Elvira and I had to eat quickly the crepes, eggs and a variety of breads they provided for us. The marshrutka ride was short and we made it to the school just in time for me start my presentation on collocations, which went really well even when there wasn’t enough time to finish it.

Elvira continued after the coffee break with a presentation on the writing process. We went for lunch at a different place, but my fried lagman had no flavor whatsoever and looked like spaghetti with meat sauce. I could only eat a few bites of it and Elvira recommended I take it back to the hotel where we could request it be reheated for dinner.

Back at the school, I presented my workshop on teaching English through pictures. Jyldyz brought in Michael, a guy from Nebraska who is currently teaching in Jalal-Abad and who wanted to observe our training sessions. The first thing to catch my eye when I got close to him was the pretty big crucifix hanging from his neck on the outside of his shirt. Most definitely another missionary disguising himself as a well-intentioned English teacher.

Elvira and I boarded a marshrutka to get to a place she’d found where our photocopies could be made and the proper receipt obtained. All windows in the business were shut and the front door closed so that there was no ventilation whatsoever. I felt I was suffocating while the copies, way too light for my taste, were painstakingly made one by one.

We decided to walk back to the hotel to enjoy the breeze weather and take in the sights and sounds of the city. Once at the hotel, Elvira asked the manager if we could use the restaurants’ microwave to heat up our leftovers and he said yes. After dropping off our bundles and taking a short breather, we made our way to the restaurant and the waitress took care of the leftovers while we enjoyed a very cold beer.

I truly surprised that the restaurant would be willing to allow consumption of food purchased someplace even when we were paying for the beers. We chatted for over our dinner while keeping our eye on a guy I’d seen passed out at one of the tables. The staff was doing all they could to try and get him to leave the restaurant but to no avail. When he could stand up, he came to our table to take a look at my face.

I went to bed as soon as I got to my room.

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