Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Written June 21, 2010

Pictures finally! From the top down: the view from my backyard; making borsok, a type of fried bread; putting up the yurt at my new host family's home; my host family during PST, minus my sister; my language group and our first Kyrgyz teacher, Izat-eje.

I’m back in my village after a weekend in Naryn City - great fun. I had gotten so used to the seven stands all selling the same products that make up the bazaar in my village that it was a little overwhelming to have so many options available to me all of a sudden. Fortunately my limited budget kept me from over-purchasing (although I did spring for two slices of pizza. Melted cheese, always worth the extra som).
I’m realizing how quickly I’m beginning to redefine my definition of so many things based on my current surroundings. Example: my definition of “close.” When I first arrived here my family and counterpart told me my school was far from my house. It’s about a ten minute walk; fifteen if I take my good ol’ time like most people around here do. A walk to the bazaar and stores, or “center” as everyone refers to the hub of my village as, is about a ten minute walk. My favorite cafe is about a twenty minute walk from where I live, and already it seems absurd that I would walk a whole twenty minutes just for a bowl of lagman and some samsa. Example: my definition of “clean.” Oh, you just cleaned that plate with lukewarm water using a washcloth that can probably get up and walk away by itself? Sure, I’ll eat off that. Example: my definition of “big city.” Currently, this means anything larger than 30,000 people. Given that I am used to navigating all of about four roads in my village, I was constantly getting turned around in Naryn.
As we were driving the two hours back to our village (apparently our driver thought nausea was a small price to pay for arriving in the most efficient time possible), I realized how much I was looking forward to going home to my own bed and to people who know me by name. Cities are fun to visit, but I’ll always be a small town girl, even in Kyrgyzstan.