Friday evening, August 20th
Katie and I had Jerry over for dinner. We had pasta with veggies and chicken. The olive oil and balsamic vinegar did the perfect trick on the eggplant and tomatoes. Super delicious. Jerry has spent about 35 years in various overseas administrative positions, mostly through the state department. As a result, he's a veritable treasure trove of great stories. It was very nice to have hosted something at our new place. Katie mentioned that it kinda solidifies it as our home now that we've had a visitor!
Saturday, August 21st
For the first time, Peter and I slept through the night last night! Yeah! Our bedtimes are still uncharacteristically early – by 8:35 last night we could hardly keep our eyes open and by 9:00 we were both out. I am finding that waking up naturally at 6 in the morning is not so bad after all. I wonder how long that will last. The city is sleepy and quiet in the mornings. Nothing is very busy until after 8:30am.
We watched some Russian cartoons, it was Saturday morning afterall. Peter had another battle with his nemesis, the unreliable hot water issue. He lost. We simply can't figure it out and think that when we plug in and open the valves on our hot water “booster”, that if someone else in the building runs their hot water, that somehow the water in our little tank goes to them. I'm all about sharing...but...
Besides the hot water issue, the successes of the morning have included: Successfully communicating with the lady who was selling corn, eggplant, tomatoes, fresh milk, green peppers and water in the communal area of our apartment complex. We understood the numbers and how much everything cost. we got: 4 tomatoes, 3 ears of corn, 1 eggplant and 1 pepper for 21 som ($0.47). Crazy cheap.
Having run back up and then down the 7 flights of stairs to put the food away, we went out for a stroll. It turned out to be a very productive one. We bought: A new blue table cloth with flowers on it, a lamp for one of our bedside tables, two potted plants to put outside our window, and one samsi (Ϲамсы) (a delicious pastry, this one filled with potatoes, onion, and some great spices). We will go get another one or two of those for lunch. Oh and let us not forget to mention the Kiwi ice cream we got for 30 cents. The language is flowing a little better in my head today, or perhaps people are being kinder to us. The food lady only said the words we needed to know – the numbers. The potted plant seller quickly wrote down the price for us and the lamp guy held up his fingers to show it cost 500 som ($11).
Peter's Note: There really should be more purple cars in the states. Do you remember how Mercedes commonly painted cars in a two-tone using similar colors in the mid-'90s? You know, the top half of the car would be teal, and the lower half of the car would be dark teal, or the car would be white with a gray color below the waist? Well, imagine that with an eggplant-ish metallic up top and a slightly lighter metallic purple down below. I'm not a big Mercedes guy, but give me a purple E-class wagon, and I'd be fine with that. Also, there's an eggplant-colored e34 touring that parks out in front of the apartment. Very cool. I did see my first Saab in the evening on Thursday. It was a '91-'92 9000 Turbo, Edwardian Gray. So far, I've seen three e30 tourings. (I realize that if you don't know what I just wrote, then you wouldn't probably care to know anyway! I'm sure I'll be posting or emailing pictures of some of these fun finds for those who do care.)
Also, touch-operated lamps should not have gone out of style in the '90s either. We bought a lamp for our bedroom this morning. Of course, as we've found to be the case with many items, the shop owner quickly plugged the lamp in to show us that it works (thank you – spah-si-bah – “Ϲпасиба”) and we then learned that it's a three-brightness-setting touch-operated lamp. RAD! Tap it anywhere on the body of the lamp three times to make it all-the-way-bright!