This week (my third in Bishkek) I finally stopped stressing out about everything, stopped trying to plan and plan the future, to decide right this moment what I’m going to do. It’s time to rest, to take a break and clear my head, so I can gradually form ideas with an uncluttered mind (in other words, time to take E’s advice…). I finally started to shed American anxiety, and the impetuous to always have a plan for everything, short and long term. For a while, I just need to be.
So what does a week look like when you have no school, no work and no real obligations?
Well first I slept a lot, and enjoyed being home and making meals and watching Game of Thrones (several seasons behind…) with E after work. About half the time I take the twenty minute walk to the university campus around noon to have lunch with E and his co-workers at the school cafeteria (yesterday, coming home from Blonder Pub where it seems we paid too much for too little food, and none of it really fresh, we discussed which restaurant in Bishkek we found satisfying – always feel like you get your money’s worth, fresh and well-prepared food, leave feeling full but not heavy – and decided that the only establishment fully filling these criteria was the personnel canteen at Manas).
At home I study Russian and read from a stack of books I bought last September and then never had time to touch. I do Pilates, make tea, entertain the cat (Peter).I mostly stay off the computer (hence the sparsity of blogs this time around).
Last week eight of the secretaries from the rector’s and directors’ offices at the university asked E if he would ask me to teach them English, as they need it for use at work. So on Tuesday I began teaching an hour and a half a day, Tuesday and Thursday for a more Advanced group, Wednesday and Friday for the beginners. It’s a chunk out of my day, but also decently interesting – and interesting also to see the terror and tremors with which a group of sharp-dressed career-driven young women approach a foreign tongue.
Monday afternoon I met S (who previously made appearances on my Urumqi blog) at Cave Coffee just East of Vefa Center, a cafe with more taste in interior decoration than the rest of Bishkek combined, even if Nana Cafe in Bishkek Park makes a better cappuccino. Tuesday – Russian course with E for a very long hour-and-a-half; Wednesday downtown to eat at a Turkish place and wander the streets ’til dusk. Saturday we woke late, made a big brunch, and then spent the afternoon walking (and taking pictures) in the stretch of parks between Chuy and Frunze, rented a tandem bicycle, stopped in Old Edgar for snacks and drinks at three (priced like an upper crust club, feels much more like a mid-range restaurant, not particularly delectable food, deer-caught-in-the-headlights wait service, overall so-so), and headed over to the Osh bazaar for fruit. To downtown we took a bus – E’s first time on public transportation since he was in Belgium and the Netherlands some five years ago. And it was concluded that vehicles of public transport are not *always* awful things…