bad cheese

(Since this is a rant, I’m posting photos of Kyrgyz babies to make us all feel better.)

I’ve been busy. My pile of half-finished drafts, articles I’m working on, emails I have to write, and papers to grade is so high that it’s teetering like a drunken Jenga tower. Every day there’s a new pressing task to complete before I can sit down and just write everything I’ve been meaning to.

I’ve been running into lots of teeny annoyances. Someone I’m depending on won’t call when he says he will. I paid the cable bill and the TV was still shut off. Confusions moving to a new apartment and the new office have somehow left me with no coffee this morning (and a searing caffeine withdrawal headache). And dinner last night, which Farrell worked hard to cook (because cooking feels like such a chore these days), was ruined by a single sprinkle of cheese.

Cheese is not good in Kyrgyzstan. If it’s locally produced, it’s put to better use as a bike tire. (If it’s not local, it’s worth more than my monthly teaching salary [which isn’t much… but still]) There is one Swiss-Kyrgyz cooperative that makes three decent types of cheese, one of which is grated parmesan. It is excellent for masking deficiencies in a meal caused by Russian pasta, expired-then-re-processed tomato paste, and ground meat that we still can’t figure out what makes it taste weird but it does anyway no matter what we do with it.

I should say, it is mostly excellent. It has a time bomb expiration date; perfectly fine one day and suddenly sprouting white, furry mold the next. Oh, but the cheese itself is also white and crumbly. So how do we figure out when it has gone sour? Right after we sprinkle it all over our food.

I tried to eat most of it, convincing myself that cheese is mold, so consuming more of it won’t hurt. But really, any bite with the tiniest speck of it tasted like I was licking a damp basement.

It was the last straw.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m grumpy. I hit a wall, but I’ll (hopefully) be over it soon. And I appreciate your continued support and patience for decent content.