I had a great lesson in conversation class today. My teacher is a young aspiring actress with lots of energy (and not so much teaching experience, but we get along). Today, she decided that we were going to practice shopping for clothes in a real department store, one of the few posh places in Bishkek. I had a to-do list: ask for directions, ask which floor women's clothing was on, ask for a green shirt, a red dress and blue jeans, get a bigger size, a smaller size, ask to try them on, ask for a discount, and finally to reject them as too expensive, sticking to Russian all the while. It was so encouraging to be able to sustain these exchanges, and even extemporise a little! I finished the exercise so excited about everything I've learned to do. If you are ever in a Russian-speaking country and you need to purchase some clothes, order food, or comment on the weather, using past and present tenses and a variety of adjectives, just call me! (Ok, it may not sound that impressive yet, but have you heard this language?)
The second harvest of strawberries has hit the streets; these ones are smaller and darker than the last. There are furtive trades happening on every corner. This is good news, as is the juicy white corn that has become available. I also, finally, found some bread (besides the flat lapyoshka) that I like! It's a real, dark, Russian rye. A touch expensive, perhaps, but delicious. Good things are a-happening, foodwise.
A fellow flat-dweller from the fifth floor is coming over tonight: she's going to practice English, I'm going to practice Russian. Last time, we talked about family and kitchen items - this time, I'm hoping she can help me with talking to bus drivers. So, I'd better clean this place up a little and find some teabags.