Monday, December 28, 2009


The life of a PCV is very surreal at times. There are times when you're riding in a taxi with no shock absorbers, no windows and tape on the door and realizing you're having a good, solid conversation with a local. You then look out that same non-window to realize you're in a different country with different homes, people and food and you suddenly realize that, yeah, life is surreal and strange, and fascinating all at the same time. Sometimes it's the out of body experience that we notice. It's like we're looking at ourselves doing something so completely different that we can't help but wonder if it's truly us.

I've had several of this recently. I was on my way in a marshuka (a mini bus, which have by the way caused me to acquire motion sickness, something I never had before) and we were driving incredibly fast around the mountains. I was watching the entire time and not once did I get scared or worried that we could die. Only last year this sort of thing would have made me jumpy. But no, there I was looking at the speeding ravines, cliff drops and vaguely following a conversation some locals were having in Kyrgyz behind me. I then suddenly realized," Wow, this is surreal." Sadly I don't even do justice to what I'm trying to say because it's like living two lives yet one at the same time and not totally understanding or recognzing what one life is doing.

I've had many moments like this during my time and know several more will come, like going out at 9pm to cut down a "christmas tree" with a fellow volunteer, or starting to speak Kurgusha (a mix of Kyrgyz and Russians, which locals do all the time) or even calling it "the Kyrgyz and "the Russian" which is also done by locals. Finally, realizing that today I only wore two shirts and a sweater, plus my fleece was good... that meant it was a warm day! Those all add up to surreal moments for me.

I hope this has made some sense, if not sorry; I tried. Look out for surrealism in your life and grasp it when you can...

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