Sunday, June 30, 2013
June 30, 2013
Slept relatively well and got up at six to get ready as Cate was coming by at eight to take me to visit the cemetery and the Osh bazaar. Coffee tasted better than ever as I sat at my computer to read emails and FB postings.
Cate was on time and I quickly finished eating my toast with the Nutella spread before heading out to Manas Avenue. We waited for the right marshrutka to come by and when it didn’t, Cate suggested we get a cab since she wasn’t sure about the marshrutka number anymore.
It was a long ride, past the U. S. Embassy, thus as far as I’d gone before, until we reached a turn off. The approach to the cemetery had been lined with flower vendors and lapidary stores. The street in itself was another pockmarked narrow lane where the asphalt had disappeared under the weight of the years.
We were dropped off at a specific point and Cate led the way to the grave sites she thought would be of interest to me because of their headstones, extensive ironwork fences or crosses when the deceased was of a Christian Orthodox background.
I learned that Russians of the Christian Orthodox faith allow three days for the viewing of the body after it has been embalmed. Friends and relatives gather for a meal after the burial, just like our wakes, and then return nine days later for another celebration as that day marks the day relatives believe the soul leaves the body for good.
I was sad to see how many young people were buried at this cemetery, mostly in their early twenties, and the extent to which their relatives had gone to give them an almost opulent grave. I wondered how many had died due to a drug overdose or car accidents.
We had a good walk with my climbing over brambles and weeds to get a better view and photo of some of the grave sites. We bought some cold water on the way out and boarded a marshrutka to get to the Osh bazaar.
I only had rubles left in my wallet and thus it was necessary to get to an exchange place where the clerk refused to take any of my coins. I had noticed that they round out the sum to their benefit to avoid handling any coins whatsoever.
I was hungry by then, so we stopped right next door and ordered a couple bowls of lagman soup. Cate turned down the flat bread, but I had a small piece since I hadn’t eaten any since leaving Bishkek for Russia.
It was then on to find the fly zapper we had seen at the Vanilla Sky place, and we quickly found it for 300 som or about $6.25. I still need to get an adapter to be able to charge it in the States, but I was happy with my purchase.
We happened to be very close to the place selling souvenirs and I headed that way immediately to get some felt earrings and additional silk scarves for my friends back home. The price for the scarves had already gone up, 400 som instead of the original 350 just a few weeks ago, and bought three more.
Cate was looking for shampoo, but I told her to please accept the set of shampoo and conditioner I still had at home and which I’d have no chance to use at all. She seemed reluctant at first, but then agreed to the deal.
We went across the street so I could buy a few vegetables to cook at home this week. Carrots, cabbage, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers quickly filled up several small bags and then I came across a beautiful yellow melon and had to have one along with one piece of flat bread.
The #35 bus came by a few minutes later and deposited us in front of my building. Cate came upstairs to help me with my bags and then took the bottles of shampoo and conditioner. There’s still another park she wants for me to see before my departure and will arrange for it later on this week.
I got to take a long shower, did my hair and changed into one of my favorite short night gowns to be completely relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. I then set out to update my application for the EFL program to keep it active just in case something comes up that would right up my alley.
I sent requests for letters of recommendation from both Gulnaras and from Willoughby as well. I notified Jennifer of my intentions hoping she’ll second my application by confirming I had done a decent job while working under her supervision. It’s now out of my hands what ultimately happens.