Monday, November 29, 2010


Since Barf received something of a reprieve from me, I thought I would take the opportunity to highlight another wonderful product name that I came across in the store last night: a brand of baby food called "Plop."

Doesn't this product name entirely ensure you of the tastiness and nutritional value of the trusted brand? The best you could buy for your precious offspring.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mystery Solved

"Barf" (Барф) means "snow" in Tajik/Persian. A much more pleasant thing to compare a cleaning product to.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Runaways" Part II

I wanted to take this opportunity to follow up on the story recorded in June's "Runaways and Runway Models" post. A comment from Gemma made me realize that I never resolved what happened.

After my account left off, the runaway followed me around for a few days, and I bought him a few lunches in exchange for helping me with my English club. As it turned out, he stopped hanging around me after I reprimanded him (maybe too harshly, considering that his views were no different from most other Kyrgyz teenage boys) for some strong racist language that he used against an Uzbek shopkeeper.

Somehow, in the coming days, he finally made it home. He told me that he had apologized and made peace with his parents, but I don't know if this was the truth or not.

Soon after this, all hell broke loose in the June violence, so I lost touch with most people. I can only hope that he decided to resume his studies.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Afghan Gunmen

Sorry about the delay, everyone. For some reason, I haven't been able to access this page for the past week or so. I don't know whether to blame the connection or government censorship. No doubt all 777 of you have been anxiously awaiting the next installment. True story: at this exact moment, precisely 777 people have viewed my blog since the first entry. Actually, that can't be true. 777 computers have viewed this blog. Here's a special shout-out to my 19 readers in Guadeloupe (no offense, but who are you? I'd really like to know. Leave a comment if you are still reading.)

Last night I succeeded in breaking the lock to my apartment door. This is the second lock I've broken in Central Asia. I don't know how I do these things. Luckily, this time I was neither locked in or out of my apartment. Also, it took only an hour before the lock was fixed, as opposed to a month last time.

While my landlady was standing around with me waiting for the guy to switch the lock, I took the opportunity to point out a water stain on the ceiling that had recently appeared. My plan had been to march upstairs and, in the combination of Russian caveman speech and hand gestures that has been serving me so well so far, inform my upstairs neighbors that they are rudely dripping water on my ceiling.

I asked my landlady, who speaks some basic English, "Who lives upstairs? Do you know?".
"Yes," she replied. "Uh... gunmen. Afghan gunmen." Suddenly the water stain on my ceiling doesn't seem like such a big deal. I'll let the landlady deal with it whenever she gets around to it.