Paying it forward

27 09 2010

This weekend I had the pleasure of actually getting to serve as tour guide to a new teacher at the London School.  This was awesome for two reasons.

First, it showed me just how much of Bishkek I’ve gotten to know.  There are certainly plenty of undiscovered nooks and crannies still out there for me.  But when it comes to the primary needs of an average expat in Bishkek, I’ve got a good chunk of them down.  I took him on his first marshrutka ride, helped him get a cell phone at Zum (a Soviet era department store), showed him the major sites in and around Ala-Too Square and pointed out the watering holes near the London School.  He was super-appreciative, but I really enjoyed being able to pay it forward and help out someone the way Baylen helped me on my first day here.

Secondly, my Russian was baller that day!  I asked for directions, got the cell phone set up, paid for the marshrutka and even had a random conversation with a dude on the street…all in perfectly passable Russian.  Mind you, these were all pretty run of the mill conversations, but I was able to accomplish things in real life — not just in the classroom.  And it felt good.  It also felt good to have someone compliment me on my Russian skills, even if I know that I still have a long way to go.

In other good news from the weekend, there’s a new Australian butcher shop that opened downtown.  And they have real bacon.  Real. Bacon.  It’s expensive as hell, but I’m going to have to treat myself to it at some point.  I also swung by a small crafts bazar, of which I’ll be posting pictures soon.

And we moved into our new apartment!  I have pictures, but haven’t uploaded them yet, because we don’t have Internet at the apartment yet.  That should be sorted out in the next few days.  But we’re all settled in, and it’s such a wonderful place.  We’re having a housewarming party this Saturday.  If you’re one of my few Bishkekian readers, you are totally invited!

So, it was a busy and productive weekend.  And I promise to have pictures up and about very shortly.  But now I’m off to do homework!

Vocabulary:

weekend: выходные (vuy-KHOD-nuy-yay)

apartment: квартира (kvar-TEE-rah)

butcher: мясник (MYAS-nick)

bacon: бекон (byay-KOHN)

party: вечеринка (vyeh-cheh-REEN-kah)

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4 responses

28 09 2010
Crystal Holland

Kurt,
Did you get to see actual pigs in the butcher shop? The first time I saw one (dead that is, ready for bacon) was at an open air market in Moscow. Fun stuff! Still traumatized but hey, that’s the circle of life!! Glad to read about you paying it forward. It’s sooo generous of folks to compliment you on speaking their language in their country. Such a shame it doesn’t happen much hear in the US. Stay safe, keep learning and writing!

Love,
Big Brother Crystal 🙂

29 09 2010
kurtinkstan

No, the meat isn’t prepared in full sight…at least not at this butcher. Although I’ve definitely seen that before!

28 09 2010
Baylen

Hey I found your blog!

Did you make him eat goat balls? That was always my favorite part of showing new people around.

29 09 2010
kurtinkstan

Thought about it…but we didn’t make it all the way out to Osh Bazaar. And I’m less of a dick than some people we both know. 😉

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