—Today’s mid-day temperature is 100. As I’ve a walking life, I follow the shade. I rise early to go out and do my shopping. Stay inside in my air-conditioned flat during the searing hours, write, nap, stare at Nadezhda, my orchid. I venture out again in the late light of day, around 7.
—The gas is back on. The supply to central Bishkek has been off since July 1, encouraging everyone to buy a chainik, an electric kettle, and to take a holiday from cooking. As it is Ramadan, much of the city is fasting for this month, eating only an hour after sunset. “No food makes me bad mood,” one Kyrgyz friend said to me.
—After my Russian lesson yesterday, my teacher and I walked to the city center. The entire world oozes something wonderful when I make her laugh.
—Bought another melon. This one about the size of a soccer ball with golden insides and a cost of about 75 cents. I’ve never tasted anything as glorious and perfumed. It’s the taste of all the best of childhood and every summer nap and wish come true and clouds and luscious innocent world.
—The wild strawberry season is winding down. About three weeks ago people began squatting behind plastic crates that held mason jars full of ruby sugar bullets that are Kyrgyzstan’s wild strawberries. The sellers were near the subways and outside the markets. Mountains of strawberries sat on blankets and in plastic bins filling the warm air with their sirens. The cashier in the pharmacy looked sheepishly at her stained fingertips and apologized when she handed me change. Then I held up my pink stained fingertips in response and we both grinned. In the States our strawberries are gargantuan and denuded of flavor like dimwitted bodybuilders. Here they are small and luscious. On my hike last week we hiked and then crouched to pick berries. Hiked and then crouched. Hiked and then crouched.