Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Donning the Rose-Colored Glasses

I've gone from living alone with my Buddy to living in a 2-bedroom one-bath apartment with three other people, and taking all of my meals with nine other people, and I can be flexible and roll with the punches as well as anyone, but I sure do miss my alone-time these days. Seven days of togetherness appears to be just about my limit. Suze tried to tell me to take an antibiotic yesterday, and I gave her that sneer of dismissal patented by my family, which I instantly regretted. Lindsay asked me why I was so quiet at dinner and I snapped, "Because I'm an introvert and being with all of these people all of the time drains my energy." She didn't talk to me again all through dinner. Way to go, Al. Making friends and influencing people halfway around the world just like you do at home. Sweet.

Yesterday we worked on the floor some more. Because the lumber is so bad, we had trouble making the floorboards fit. Every board has to be flipped and rotated to see what the best fit is, and then it has to be wedged into place to eliminate the gaps before it's nailed in place. Our team got a rhythm going by the end of the day (and included Lindsay who forgave me for being such a downer at dinner), but we still weren't able to finish the job by the end of the day.

We spend our down-time on the job exchanging language lessons with our Kyrgyz co-workers. We can how say "Malatok" which means hammer, and they can say "crowbar" with a delightful roll of the first "R". All of us accompany our new foreign language skills with self-conscious laughter.

On Thursday, we leave for a little R and R at Lake Issyk-Kyl. I will post when I return. I just hope I don't throttle anyone during our little vacation - at least part of which will include all ten of us sleeping in the same room. If you are at home in Minnesota and reading this, shoot me a comment or an email while I'm gone so I can remember that I'm still lovable even if I am sometimes a bit prickly.


OneN said...

Hey Al...we were swimming at Judy and Jimmy's last night - Cat and Finn had a blast - kept asking where Al and Buddy were. Who cares if those other people like you - Cat and Finn love you...and as a raging introvert myself - I feel your pain. Just know those people are short timers in your life, the important ones are here - in Minnesota...we still like you.

PPC said...

You know how I know that you're one of the people I trust and like the most? I still haven't made your Buddy door a priority, that's how. I only put off jobs for people I love. Weird, I know, but it's true pretty much across the board. Love the posts Al. Looking forward to stories in person too.

Jill said...

Hey Al! I hope the Lake was as "sick" and "cool" as its name implies! :) Wow, I would be some kind of miserable if I had to endure sharing a bathroom with three other people, abdominal cramping, illiteracy, sexism, and shoddy building materials. You must be the only one who didn't bring Valium on the trip!
It's not the same around here without you, Al. The Wii sits abandoned in the corner missing its lover, and even thinking about breakfast brings no pleasure knowing you're not around to poo-poo the potatoes. Hurry up on tricking out that cave and git yer butt back here! But if you need to stop in London to pamper yourself, we'd understand. ;)

carrie said...

Al, you may be a surly curmudgeon, but you are a fabulous writer. Hurry back, and come over for a bbq. Or, if you'd rather, the rest of us can cook and eat together and we can set you up a table in the other room so you can have some peace and quiet.

P.S. You know that curmudgeon is a compliment coming from me, right?

Fern said...

Low self-monitors don't exactly "roll with the punches as well as anyone", you know that...but that's what's so great about them. You know they're always being authentic. Besides, reasonable people don't base their entire opinions of other people on a couple episodes of crabby, or no one would have any friends. Bottom line, they can't spend that much time with you and NOT see the Al we all know and love. So, chin up, girl!

Judy N said...

Esmirelda says,
Sarah and I have a great system with your Buddy. I do the dog park at 0600 (I'm a morning person) and she gets pm. OK sometimes am too. No bad Buddy behavior and I've lost two pounds to regular exercise without jarring my knees running. Thanks for the great posts. Any time for working with all that good writing? See you soon.

Alex said...

I love you all a million. Thank you for the comments!