Saturday, May 14, 2005

An evening rain

It’s 11:40 p.m. and I can hear the rain running off the roof through the drainage pipes and into the garden. Thunder roars in the distance.

Shavkat lies outside on the porch, sleeping on mats as usual. He loves the rain and the sound of thunder. But tonight he’s drunk and I wonder if he hears it. Salima is afraid of storms and has only the children to comfort her at home.

Yesterday, earlier in the evening, we had a short but powerful freak storm. The rain came down in droves, running out of the drainage pipes like waterfalls. Nigora had just planted a flower bulb I’d brought her from the Netherlands and I wondered if it would be drowned.

I like the sound of the rain hitting the ground and falling into the rich soil and the thunder’s rumble. The world is dark and quiet and this reminds me of nature’s life and force. The sound also makes me think of cannon fire and reminds me of the problems in Andijan.

I was out in Osh today and didn’t notice anything different until I tried to buy tomatoes. The same tomatoes I bought yesterday for 30 som a kilo were now 50.

“The border is closed,” the vendors said. Those tomatoes had come from Uzbekistan and there may not be more for a while. So I worry about the entrepreneurs who are dependent on Uzbekistan, either for their supplies (especially of produce) or for their buyers (of other goods). In that way, the locals can be hurt by the events in Uzbekistan.

But besides the price of tomatoes, my day was no different than any other Saturday in Osh. It amazes me that there can be violence and bloodshed only 25 miles away, yet I feel nothing but a 50-cent increase in my expenses and a sadness at the sound of falling rain.

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