Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan

Monday, February 07, 2005

Incomplete Thoughts & Mixed Metaphors

Osh is the color of cooked salmon…well, at least the majority of buildings on my street are the color of cooked salmon. Cooked Salmon?—Yes, cooked salmon—not that glistening, pink-orange flesh delicately adorning the rice on your sushi platter—No!--we’re talking broiled, baked, pan-fried, grilled, whatever-turns-the-translucent-sun-setting-meat-opaque-and-murky-white Cooked Salmon.

After cooking the vibrant life out of this Chinook city, pepper it with a little diesel dust and…Voila! You’ve got yourself the subtle, lip-smacking flavor of Osh. To be honest with you, I think Cooked Salmon is just the cheapest pigment available at the bazaar—did you know that’s why barns were originally painted red in the U.S.?—it was the cheapest paint money could buy.

I love this city. Is it musty, dusty and rusty? Yes, but those are subtle flavors. Think about a nice Scotch…it’s peaty, smoky, even loamy—and that’s precisely what elevates it to the lips of a sophisticate. The irony is that things so earthy can be so expensive.

In the West, “Refined” now seems to mean tasting the salt of the earth without having to kneel down and stick out your tongue. That’s no fun! I’ll bet Scotch and salmon taste even smokier, oakier (not a word—but work with me), sweeter and meatier when you break a sweat to bring’em home. If that means donning a kilt and casting a fly, then by all means, don and cast away—appreciation comes through toiling for your pleasures—just don’t get lost at sea hiking your skirt and holding your rod…


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