January 27, 2008
I suppose that spending so many hours in subzero temperatures last Wednesday was not exactly the best thing for my body, which was still in the process of adapting to strange K-stan germs. I didn’t feel to great Thursday morning, and by Friday I was feeling miserable with a full blown cold. Saturday I actually felt a lot better, just incredibly tired and weak. I made it to the nearest internet café (the slow one, as I didn’t have the energy to walk all the way to the “fast” one) and then meandered across the street to Ramstor to restock my fridge. I’m usually quite good at knowing how much money I have and making sure that the cost of my purchases does not add up to more than I have in my wallet. Unfortunately, the illness that left me feeling completely weak and drained also left me feeling incredibly spacey. At the checkout, my total came to 100som shy of what I actually had in my wallet. I apologized profusely to the cashier, and fished out 100som worth of things that I figured I didn’t really need. She said she’d have to call her manager to get approval to have those items removed from my transaction. Whoops. I continued to apologize and felt like an absolute ass for making such a mistake... then the guy in line asked me (in English, although he was obviously Kyrgyz – I guess he could tell I wasn’t a native speaker!) how much money I needed. I told him it was ok, that they were going to remove two of my purchases and then I’d have enough. Again he asked me how much I needed. I told him 100som, which he promptly handed to me and insisted I take. Perhaps he was just a really nice guy. Perhaps he didn’t want to have to wait for the manager to show up to void out my purchases. Or perhaps the average Kyrgyz who shops at expensive places such as Ramstor doesn’t stress over the loss of the equivalent of $3 to some random air-headed foreign chick who probably looked a bit ill.