Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Getting The STORY straight...

No big secret: I built the golf course so my dad and I could play a bit while he was visiting
Adam, on behalf of myself and the rest of the story readers, I would
like to ask " whats up with the new story?" There hasn't been one since the 11th.

And is there a way to get on a emailing list to alert us when a new story goes up?

Mike (and proably everyone else who is a regular story reader)

Well Mike, thank you for asking. I meant to post yesterday and apparently a lot of people were expecting this too because there were quite a few 20 second check-ins for Monday listed on my stat checker. I will avoid my usual excuse making.

But yes, I am back at the desk and with a renewed passion for the job of fighting for truth, justice and the Belarusian way. Though none of it got covered here on the STORY, it was a heck of a week last week and frankly there has been nothing in my world that has been anything less than a series of adventures all the way along. Shocking and scandalous occurrences, high pitched screaming and embarrassing moments. Nothing is working right, nothing was getting done on time and by the end of the week I was beginning to believe that I had unleashed some kind of curse on myself. Actually, I still half believe that there was some kind of supernatural black cloud following me around. Was it the golf course?

So there is a lot to talk about though probably too much for one blog so my plan is to try and catch up with all of the doings of the last week this week and maybe amble on to fresh business starting next.

However, rather than stopping here and leaving the screen empty, I am going to start in now and give some of the highlights of what last week was all about. I guess this might even work as an outline for the rest of the week. Here's basically what happened:

1. I got my bike back.

Among the things that I have felt most remiss about here is that I don't think I ever really fleshed out the story of my bike getting stolen. A very interesting set of circumstances about how it got stolen by jonesing narcomaniacs and what dealing with the police bureaucracy was all about. But let me tell you that it is an even better story about how I happened to come upon a drunk riding my beloved Schwinn up at the train station only minutes before I needed to board the train to Minsk. Ironically, I had only that very day been wondering what I would actually do if I should happen to come upon my trusty ride. By way of answering the question, I chased the bastard down and literally pulled the bike oout from under him. Not that he quit; straight away we got into an issue about ownership and amazingly enough though, and I might never fully understand this, HE WANTED TO GO TO THE POLICE RATHER THAN RIUUNNING AWAY! In the end though, I suppose this helped facilitate things- well, except for the fact that I have been almost two weeks waiting for the cops to release the bike back to me. It was supposed to be today… but it wasn't. In principle though, I have it and this is a very good thing

2. My dad came for a visit.

This was really the big secret all along. Looking back though, I am not sure why it needed to be. My dad and I had not seen each other face to face in a long time and it was very nice to have had the chance to get together. And yes, of course this was the reason for establishing the golf course up at the farm. And yes, I think that trying to establish a golf course in Belarus is what might have angered the gods and brought this curse down upon me. But I digress, lots of interesting stuff with my dad going on- most of it worthy of comment I guess.

3. I am going to try teaching some English here this school year.

Now yes, being in the bike business was my first intent, this and writing the play of course. But from the first day I actually got to come out of that slime pit which is found just over Belarus' western border, I have wanted to help raise the bar on the English abilities of Pinsk's poli-lingual prodigies. A good deal of my efforts towards this end went to waste over a combination of the effects of Polish scandal and slander and the simple obnoxiousness of the educational bureaucracy, but I did manage to find the time to lecture at the bank college several times and this really wet my appetite top make a go of this as a local career. To my mind this is probably the most useful thing I might possibly be able to do here. I know I thought this on the first day I arrived here in from Poland and I don't think it has ever changed really. This is not to say that bikes are less useful, but dollar-wise, that is still as of the moment not an option.

4. I am planning on revamping and/or cleaning up the being had website.

I don't know if this is to be a major overhaul or not, but I am hoping that this second half of 2007 is going to be the time when I finally get this thing right and probably, putting more attention on getting things clear about what this is all about is probably a reasonable means to that end. Basically this is going to mean adjusting the being had website a little and perhaps adding some things to this page and to the BHTimes. Also amongst the things that should change a bit will be a trimming back of the STORY to perhaps four posts a week instead of the five or six I write now. Truthfully, I am ok with writing these essays but I have found that it does take quite a bit to rev it up day in and day out. In general I am thinking that as I am making two BHTimes a week, I might allow those to satisfy the task of a daily update and only make the STORY on the other days. I should also make an advertising push and absolutely, I should try and inspire a sponsor or two to come on board and help out a bit.

5. Harvest time and the closing up of our farm for the winter.

Now is the time for us to be reaping what we have sewn and this is exactly what is going on. Tomorrow in fact I am on the dacha and part of the job is collecting and juicing some of the 50 to 80 kilos of pears we have this season. I will be taking the juicer and several 3 liter banks with me to the farm to save on transportation issues. Pear wine? Why not? Tanya says she doesn't care about the fresh juice and to me this is simply a door opening. So, six in the am tomorrow Egor and I will be bussing our way up to the big apple farm and golf links to get started on this interesting though messy and tiresome task.

So this is the story. For now, don't let it be said that I have quit because I have not. There are lots and lots of stories to tell from the last while. This has been a hell of an interesting summer and with any luck, this coming winter will be even more interesting. I know it is supposed to be dead and, and really, this might be true, but it seems to me that there are lots of things to talk about. Even more really when you count in the things you don't want to talk about. But hey; fighting corruption and other crimes against humanity is never an easy task and I don't think anyone really knows what is required for that until they actually start getting into it.

So no, I didn't quit. I just didn't say anything while I was hanging out with my dad and dealing with "The Life" here in the beautiful and interesting Republic of Belarus. Thanks for your patience and continued support. I'll start getting into the STORY starting tomorrow evening my time. And as for now, what else can I say but this:

More soon…