Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Old Shoes & TB

Rudely awakened!

There are two possible explanations for this. Either the downstairs neighbours have enacted a rousing polka with broomsticks, or there was a minor earthquake just now. 

A quick glance at Facebook tells me that it was the latter. As always, I can only trust (blindly) in the foresight of Soviet architects, since the alternative is paralysing fear/planning a third-storey leap.

Here in Bishkek, ice is melting into veritable rivers. A half-hearted rainy mist has descended on the city. Walking is a half-skating, half-trudging locomotion, and my shoes are nearly ruined. Luckily, they're only imitation Ugg-boots from Dordoi Bazaar. The soles of them have been replaced twice and I don't think they warrant a third, so I'll be throwing them out shortly, having exercised my money's worth. 

Got my yearly tuberculosis test today. It involved a needle, which I had forgotten since last time, and was therefore psychologically unprepared. I did what I usually do when threatened with needles, which is screw my eyes shut and pinch my thighs in such a manner that welts appear later. It works, though. The greater pain cancels out the other, and the fact of not seeing the needle also helps.

The other notable thing that happened today was a visit to a music store. I discovered a little Yamaha shop here, hidden away; quite the find, because it means we don't have to ship equipment from the States at an exorbitant price. I say this because of an extraordinary episode of fundraising has just occurred; the school drums and keyboard and microphone cables recently decided to cark it all at once, after a long decline. After a flurry of letter-writing and responses from truly the most generous friends in the world, enough money was raised to purchase new equipment. This is why we're able to pick up a new keyboard tomorrow, and place an electronic drum kit on order. It all sounds very prosaic, but I'm not exaggerating when I say that raising this money was a profound, humbling, and educational experience. More anon.

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