The misadventures of a Tefl teacher in the Switzerland of Central Asia
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
On Arriving and Experiencing the Lag
Having only traveled any great distance westwards before, I wasn’t fully prepared for the strange sensation of chasing the night that you get when you travel east. We had left Heathrow at about 2pm and after only a few hours we were drifting through darkness with only the moon for company.
Of the journey there is little of note to add, portly American expats talking baseball and spinning around and diving down over Almaty airport in Kazakhstan a couple of times before being allowed to land in our only stop before Bishkek were the only things of note that happened.
And so I landed in a country shrouded in mist and stolid bureaucracy. I handed in my completed Visa and Entry forms at the Consulate and was immediately requested to fill in some more forms with precisely the same details. I then had to cough up 70 dollars (whether for the government or the pocket of the official I remain unsure) and was visa’d (an impressively shiny one), stamped and unceremoniously spat out into a strange land.
Fortunately I was spat out only as far as a pretty, friendly, young Russian woman with an A4 piece of paper bearing my name in large curvy letters. So I found myself at 4 in the morning trundling through the darkness on the way to the city of Bishkek and the London School where I would be lodging and teaching.
Of the School I can say a little, of the city next to nothing. This is because the last day has been spent in a half daze of dozing and jetlag (I believe it’s my first experience of it, I can confirm it is rubbish). So I managed to raise myself long enough to wander through the courtyard and have a look at the small but modern classrooms and cafeteria of the school, but of the rest of the city and country in which I currently abide I maintain the profoundest ignorance.
To discover if I manage to rid myself of this ignorance, dear readers, or if I merely spent the next nine months dozing fitfully you will have to wait for the next installment.