Saturday, March 11, 2006

I called Shavkat in Osh this evening. He hadn’t been in when I’d called two nights before because it was men’s night at the teahouse.

He’s still formally unemployed but has found a way to earn some extra income by sewing tents. He makes them at home and people buy them to use on the jailoo, the summer pastures. Every weekend he drives to Nookat, a town about 40 minutes away, to sell them.

I asked why he couldn’t sell them in Osh. He said that more people in Nookat deal with cattle – which is probably true. But I think it also gives him an excuse to drive one of his beloved cars.

Construction is moving rapidly on the new building across the walkway from me. Jumping white light shoots through my curtains late at night and early in the morning, the sparks of welders looking like off-season firecrackers. Last night a couple sat on the steps at the entrance to the building, drinking beer and watching a new building rise.

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