Friday, July 5, 2013

July 5

July 5, 2013

Up at the crack of dawn again determined to start the packing process in earnest. Had my cup of coffee, answered emails and reviewed Facebook postings before having the last of the flat bread, some pieces of cheese and hot chocolate for breakfast.

According to the website provided by Georgetown University, Turkish Airlines accepts one carry-on bag(up to 22 lbs.) and two suitcases not exceeding 50 lbs. each for each traveler. It seems exceedingly generous to me and I wouldn’t be surprised if I find out at the airport that those guidelines might have changed.

In any event, I got one bag completely packed and it weighed 22 kilos or 48.4 pounds. Not too bad considering it contained most of my shoes and some of the presents I was given at the end of some of the seminars I offered here.

It was time to head to the Peking Duck restaurant to meet with Gulnara from lingua for a farewell meal. I stood at the corner where we agreed to meet doing a bit of people watching as she was running late. Women were going by decked out in outrageous colors and flowing dresses that went down to their ankles. It was such a contrast to the drab clothes they wore all winter.

Once at the restaurant, we both offered the fish dish with vegetables I had always liked when Lingua catered meals from this restaurant and I requested mine very spicy. We both ordered a beer, non-alcoholic for Gulnara who needed to be present at two meetings that afternoon, and a regular one for. My Baltika 7 came in with the now ubiquitous straw inside.

Our conversation geared toward my future plans, none specific yet, the feedback received from the CATEC participants, lots of complains about the food, past fellows at Lingua and, of course, Forum and its machinations insofar as the election of a new president was concerned.

The luncheon was much more congenial than I could possibly imagine since we never veered into what could have been but never was field. At the end, Gulnara insisted on going next door to a souvenir shop to buy me a present in the name of Lingua. We chose a light purple scarf and matching felt earring for me and then said goodbye.

Her driver approached me to say goodbye and wanted to drop me off at home, but I had agreed to meet Willoughby at Sierra Coffee nearby. I found her at one corner doing her knitting as usual. After chitchatting for a bit, we made our way back to my flat so she could conduct an inventory of those things she wanted from my apartment before we placed the rest in the suitcase for the Peace Corps volunteers.

We agreed on Willoughby coming by next Thursday after her foot laser treatment and then hopping on a taxi to deliver the suitcase to the Peace Corps compound to then head to her apartment with the things she’s keeping such as the coffeemaker, coffee grinder and assorted grocery items.

I called Gulnara from Forum once again to ask about the photos I need to complete my report for the embassy and to determine when she’d come by to pick up the two boxes of books and miscellaneous things I’m donating to the association. She claimed to have trouble finding the specific photos, but would try again that evening when she got home.

She also promised to come by tomorrow around three with someone who has a car to help transport the boxes to the Chinese Institute where Forum has an office, or something that looks more like a storage room anyway.

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