Q and A

Trip Start Sep 04, 2003
Trip End Dec 20, 2003

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Flag of Uzbekistan  ,
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Q and A from various recent emails
(Since I have a depressing amount of homework tonight, so real entries, emails and trips to the post office to mail that first batch of letters must wait for another day. FYI, I am told that letters take about 2 weeks to arrive)

Q: How pink did you get in the sun?
A: Pink enough to have "Foreigner" stamped across my forehead. Just kidding... sort of. There are pale Russians here, but they know better than to burn. It's just stupid Americans like myself that toast.

Q: Have you used your digital camera?
A: Not yet. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to transfer the pictures at the internet cafes, without the software (Why didn't I bring that with me?) I'm still investigating, and I'll get back to you.

Q: How do you understand your teacher if she doesn't speak English?
A: Good question. Um.... Actually, we understand each other surprisingly well. We use my English-Uzbek and English-Russian dictionaries, and she also speaks a tiny bit of English. It helps that she frequently looks up key words or phrases and writes them in English before I come. Plus, the texts she uses are in Uzbek and English. She was telling me the other day that both of her brothers speak English well-- her younger brother works for the UN. He was teasing her about her English the other day, and she told him, "But Meagan understands me!" I do, too. We're both patient, and enjoy our Helen Keller moments of revelation quite a bit.

Q: Do you use your Russian much>?
A: Uhhhh..... well, some. Honestly, though, my Russian sucks. The Russian dictionaries made it on the plane, but my Russian language skills did not. I don't know what happened. I use it when I have to, but really prefer to use Uzbek. Plus, I like Uzbek better. :)

Q: Any stomach issues?
A: Another evasive, sheepish reply: Ummmm.... yeah. I was stupid and thought that since I was taking supplements to boost my immune system, and since I would inevitably get sick anyway, I might as well use the local tap water in small amounts every now and then, like washing dishes... and that time or two that I forgot to rinse my toothbrush in the bottled water. Big oops. I spent Monday being miserable, felt a little better on Tuesday after a 20-hour nap, and feel almost normal today. Life lesson: Don't be lazy. Don't drink the water. As for gluten issues, I haven't had any. Yay!

Q: Does everyone smoke?
A: Hard to say. I do see people smoking, but I can't tell if it's more or less than at home. According to my teacher, though, it's taboo for women to smoke.

Q: Do you have to go far to the internet, and is it expensive?
A: Kind of far, but not too bad. It's not expensive by US standards, but it is by Uzbek standards (and it's funny how much more I value $1 here, even though I'm wealthy by local standards. That 700 or so soum is worth a lot!) So I do like to check in regularly, but it isn't easy to do it constantly, and it does add up. So 2 or 3 times a week will probably be standard, depending on what I have going on.

Q: Are you still checking my xanga page?
A: Even though I don't have time to cruise the net much (I focus on emails and entries) I do still check Xangas! :)
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