Outlook’s Not Great

She had a big black mole on her cheek hugging her nose and was breastfeeding her newborn the entire time Laura was talking with her. They'd gone on a full two minutes before she asked Laura for money. She was from the south and spoke fast, and it was hard for Laura to understand her.... Continue Reading →

On Loving and Leaving and Getting Left Behind

The image of putting down roots is a beautiful one. The mightiest trees didn't appear overnight. Instead, day by day, they slowly sank their fibrous fingers down into the earth, drinking in the very essence of the soil in which they were planted, and converting that essence into a towering trunk, sprawling branches, wind-kissed leaves,... Continue Reading →

The Ride

It was 5:00 AM. Friends of ours were leaving for the States, and we had agreed to take them to the airport. At its best, the drive is absolutely dreadful. It's especially so at 5:00 AM. (But I'm quick to throw anything taking place at 5:00 AM in the "dreadful" category.) See, from where we... Continue Reading →

Speaking With an Accent

In Kyrgyz, there's only one letter difference between the word cow and the word house. And if you're not a native speaker, the difference in pronunciation between those two letters is about as clear as a jar of mud. Right after we moved out of our apartment, Laura told her friend that we had bought... Continue Reading →

Driving Up South

We live on the northern side of the capital, literally on the last street before you find yourself outside city limits. Because of the fact that a mountain range rests just south of the city, here to drive south is to drive up since you're literally increasing your elevation the more south you go. And... Continue Reading →

All The Things That Shouldn’t Be But Are

Bazaar workers shouldn't have to work all day long for peanuts. Their fingers, toes, and noses shouldn't freeze from the cold trapped in all the concrete and metal shipping containers that surround them. They shouldn't try to milk you for every last cent. Yet they do. A service called Drunk Taxi—no joke—shouldn't be a thing.... Continue Reading →

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