Friday, February 18, 2005

Good morning in Osh

Here’s what getting up in the morning can be like in Osh. I woke up at seven. Two minutes later, the electricity went out. I hoped there would still be enough hot water left and went outside to take a shower. When I got to the bathing area, I could hear water running. Someone was in there, so I waited outside until it became free.

The dog growled at my loitering presence, but I ignored him. He is little and I’ve gotten used to him. Then Nigora came out of the front door and just as she approached me, the dog flew at me, barking and biting my pants (even though they all swear he doesn’t bite) as I screamed at him to go away.

When Lutfulo came out of the shower, I went into the dark steaming room to undress. When I emerged to where the shower is, I saw by the light of a small window that the bathtub was full and the fish I’d purchased yesterday were in the water, half of them floating, the other half at the bottom of the tub. Somehow they’d survived their time in the car trunk, an hour on a shelf next to smelly shoes at the gym, and the trip home. I showered under watchful fish eyes, wrapped a towel around my wet hair, and went back outside to get to my room, where I’d again sit in darkness while my hair dried.

Nigora put Max, whining, into the chicken coop, where he’d spend the day as punishment for his outburst.

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