6.14.2005 ||> As if you needed another reason to ignore work
This is the funniest thing that's happened all week. You need to look at this now that you're probably at work and upset that you were wrong about Michael Jackson.
I spoke with my mother on the phone last week and I mentioned that I was spending about $40 a week at the grocery store for food and other items. Every other person that I have said that to was amazed that I could be eating well and spending so little. Not my mom. No, the woman my dad once said could "squeeze a nickel until the buffalo farted" chided me for spending too much. Apparently she only spends $20 a week at the grocery store. I was dumbfounded. Has she suddenly become able to eat the air as if it were sustenance?
Yesterday, I remembered that she didn't eat breakfast and probably buys her own lunch. I take my lunch to work with me and always eat breakfast. Problem solved and now I will no longer feel like a spendthrift.
It's been weeks since the massacre in Andijon, Uzbekistan. Unlike when events were transpiring in Kyrgyzstan (and I was writing two posts a day), I was unable to even vocalize how I was feeling. I felt like I had been kicked in the gut, and that the place I had come to know and love for two years was not real. The place I served in during my time in the Peace Corps was a fantasy Uzbekistan, where people went about their daily lives and were not killed in the streets as if their lives meant nothing.
Even when the Peace Corps decided to leave Uzbekistan (and anyone with any sense knew it was a matter of time after last year's sit-in to get our visas renewed), I was still speechless. I didn't really think of the volunteers. Some of them would be happy to leave anyway, and the ones that weren't would probably be transferred somewhere else (Peace Corps Fiji maybe?) that needed their help too. I was really thinking about my school and my host sister. Everyone who felt a little happier and a little more like their lives were brighter for having Americans around to do strange American things.
How did it all go so pear shaped? How was it that one of the most hospitable places is now suddenly not? I think of the Rose Revolution and the events after that, the credit (or blame) placed on America and American organizations has made all these dictators fear the influence of anything American. Then there's the very small group of people coming into Uzbekistan who think that it would be another Islamic state if only the secular president could be overthrown. Of course, they never realize that very few Uzbeks follow Islam the way they do. I think of all the people I talked to and taught and I know that most of them will leave the country sooner rather than later. Everything I worked for will go with them and won't stay in the place I called home but eight months ago.
Another cow is reported to have a probable case of mad cow disease. If the tests come back positive, it would make this the second cow in two years to be found with the condition. Naturally, cattle producers are a bit anxious, seeing as how foreign countries were very quick to ban American beef the last time. It's interesting that when Europe was having their big epidemic and the reports of people dying were coming in, the USDA was very quick to assure us that American beef was safe. Now that it's been years since the first case of mad cow disease cropped up in Europe, we're the ones having the problem. We're the ones still using blood feed on our beef cows and generally being sloppy.
It sort of makes me wonder why some places still don't offer more vegetarian fare. One cow a year for the last two, and they could potentially be killing off their customers with cows that were never caught and tested.