Saturday, June 29, 2013
June 29, 2013
I had agreed to meet with Ekatarina for coffee today, and she chose 11:00 am as the right time for her. We settled on Vanilla Sky so I could continue to work on updating my blog entries until she got there.
We sat in the glassed-in terrace which features a cascade of water falling quietly over the glass windows. I have no idea what feat of engineering allowed that to happen. She had brought me a gorgeous pair of earrings to match the garnet ring I got in Nepal years ago. We both ordered latte, and then I decided to peruse the selection of pastries inside and settled for one covered with coconut flakes.
I was told it was 60 som and that was reasonable, but when I asked the clerk to send it to my table in the terrace she told me that was the price if I wanted the pastry to go, but to eat it in the restaurant, it would cost me 100 som. I turned it down simply refusing to go along with such an idiotic notion.
Cate, as Ekaterina prefers to be called, was a participant in the workshops I offered at the Russian Slavonic University back in November. She’s currently teaching test preparation classes for the American University of Central Asia. She’d been the only participant at that university to ever show any interest in receiving additional materials and to have kept in touch until now.
After talking for a couple of hours, we discovered we’re truly kindred souls. We constantly strive to become better professionals at what we do, we like to stay informed and think critically about the issues facing humanity, love to read and watch films that portrait life as it really is while generously offering our knowledge and resources to anyone who can benefit from it.
In addition, we’re feisty women who refuse to be cowered when we see an injustice being committed anywhere and against anyone. Clearly, such posture can bring negative repercussions, which we’re willing to deal with instead of becoming just another “Yes” person.
I noticed a server going around with an object that looked like a small racquetball, but which was being used to zap flies inside the terrace. When I inquired about it, Cate told me it was a product made in China that can be charged overnight and then used to kill flies, something like a taser.
I immediately demanded to know where I could buy one for my mom as I know she goes berserk when flies get inside her house. Cate offered to go with me to the Osh bazaar tomorrow since I still want to buy a few felt earrings for my friends in Florida and she reassured me I could find the fly taser there as well.
We took a walk in the park behind my building, the one I hadn’t had time to explore yet and sat in bench to talk for hours. We now have plans to visit a Christian Orthodox cemetery early tomorrow morning, as she’s learned about my obsession with cemeteries, and then later on to the Osh bazaar.
Cate accompanied me to the convenience store across the street so I could buy some take out items for dinner and then I showed her the apartment. We ran into the cleaning lady on the stairs and she informed Cate that I was behind on the payment for such services.
Cate promised to send me some links to movies she’s seen online that dealt with the issues of corruption, government lying campaigns, the big business religion is and others. I’m so fortunate to have found someone like her just a few days before my departure.
My landlady came around five to inform me she’d be out of town until the 14 of July. I, in turn, informed her I needed to keep the apartment beyond the original July 1 date since I’d now be leaving earlier than planned and would not be making the trip to Dushanbe that I’d dreamed about so long.
She agreed to my paying on a day-to-day basis and designated her girlfriend to come and pick up the payment and the key on the 11th of July. She reassured me the girlfriend still wanted to buy both my sleeping bag and backpack. I was surprised as to how easy going she was about the whole thing. She, in turn, remarked as to how cool the apartment was with only the one A/C unit on.