My ex-boyfriend was a mad keen lycra-wearing, carbon fibre-loving cyclist, and he would follow every stage of Le Tour. So, for a couple of years, there was a ritual where I'd fall asleep in a beanbag and he'd wake me up whenever something exciting happened, which usually involved Cadel Evans or Contador. Anyway, I was well and truly indoctrinated into the cult that is the Tour. Team Cadel all the way! And it's nice to be in a country where I can watch the stages without incurring much of a sleep debt. I love the frenchiness of it all, the gorgeous panoramas, the charming commentators, the grit, the guile, the lean faces and splendid calves of the competitors. Plus, it's so soothing to have European accents as a backdrop to my Russian homework. (A nice young Norwegian has just won a stage, and he can't stop grinning. He hasn't endangered Cadel's chances, so I'm happy for him).
In addition to the cycling and the language study, today's notable event was the discovery of a friendly bazaar only a couple of minutes away. It's a patchwork of little tables in a shed, and I used full sentences to purchase a kilo of delicious strawberries for the guests I'm having over for dinner tomorrow: I also bought nectarines, plums, and a melon of mysterious but fragrant antecedents. The aforementioned guests are some students who are still in Bishkek for the summer. I've invited them over for a girls' night, which will consist of dinner and a movie. I'm thinking Shepherd's Pie and Jane Campion's Bright Star; while it's nearly a perfect film from my perspective - stunningly shot, great script, Keats - I'm not convinced of its universal appeal, so am still hunting around for a fallback.
I also discovered this whimsical website today, where new haikus are posted frequently. I recognise the feeling of this one, particularly as my head is swimming with new vocabulary.