After three weeks, my mind has sussed out Survival; it has a map of resources and connections and patterns and purposes, and a schedule to keep. Having accomplished this feat, it's now given my body permission to Get Spectacularly Sick.
To be precise, I ate something I shouldn't have - who knows what - and contracted gastro, so I've been in bed for three days. I'm told it's inevitable and to be expected, so I'm glad to have met expectations. I'm also glad for the enforced rest. I don't believe I'd have got it any other way! And I have books and my laptop, so things aren't dire.
At least, they wouldn't be dire if it weren't for the demon child directly upstairs. He spends his evenings alternately running and sliding across the floor, right above my bedroom. This pursuit entertains him for hours on end, until his parents lock him in his room (also right above my bedroom) whereupon he proceeds to drum his heels and scream until they let him out, after which the whole scenario plays out again. When I was sickest, all feverish and longing desperately for sleep, this is exactly what was happening above me. I did vaguely consider ascending the stairs to confront the parents, but decided against this on several counts; I could barely stand upright at the time, couldn't afford to be further than a room away from a toilet, and also could only say spasiba (thankyou) in varying levels of intensity, which I didn't feel would convey my displeasure sufficiently.
Anyway, today is a little better. I've been reading a couple of things; N.T. Wright's commentary on Matthew, and a kooky detective novel from the golden age of detective novels, by Michael Innes. I've also discovered a channel I can watch - CNN International, so I've been somewhat absorbed in events in Egypt, and increasingly mesmerised by Anderson Cooper's haircut. Also, I find my stomach can handle the Russian version of Lipton iced tea and copious amounts of toast, which is pleasant.
Things that were small, almost indistinguishable pleasures in Melbourne take on the larger pleasure of luxuries in Bishkek; television news in a language I understand, a toaster that actually works, an internet connection that's only moderately slow, and a small but close-knit group of people who have spread the news that I'm sick and have each offered to go out of their way to help. I received five phone calls today from people offering to bring me anything I needed, which was a beautiful reminder of God's provision and the unity of his people here; by their works you shall know them.