There is this trend going around Facebook where you get a random number and then tell that number of things about yourself. Also, lots of “things I’m thankful for” for November. Although those are getting a bit desperate. I saw one today where someone was thankful for good schedules. Dig a bit deeper, people.
And although I live in an unfashionable corner of the world, never let it be said that I let a perfectly good, blog-fodder fad go by. Except No-Shave November. Nobody needs to see that.
So here are ten things you may or may not have known about our life in Afghanistan:
1) Bread is sacred here. You cannot throw it away or leave it upside down on the table. It’s common to find bits of moldy bread in corners and desk drawers because you can’t dispose of it.
2) We give our stale bread to our house helper who feeds it to her chickens. Win win for everybody.
3) We buy eggs from our house helper. So in a way, the bread comes right back to us.
4) Any service you might need comes to your gate. Need eggplants? Here is the eggplant guy. Propane? Used shoes? Popcorn? Sometime throughout the day one of those carts or trucks will come buy with a distinctive horn blast or mega-phone announcement.
5) Because of his Mediterranean good looks and very good Farsi, most Afghans think Mr. Incredible is an Afghan who lived in America and has now returned home. He gets all sorts of congratulations for having married an American wife and talked her into coming with him.
6) I cross two open sewers when I walk to the market.
7) When I take Dash with me to the market, the vegetable seller always quizzes him on the names of produce. The kid knows them all. When I don’t bring Dash the guy tries to quiz me, but he’s always a bit disappointed.
8) Riding on a motorcycle with a bed sheet-sized covering wrapped around you from head to ankle is pretty much as hard as it sounds. Also, see #6 for other examples of why it’s a hazard.
9) Our weekends are Thursday and Friday. Which means that come Monday when Facebook is all full of groans and moans, I’m all “oh yeah, hump day!”
10) My language teacher and I once had a whole lesson on the movie “World War Z”. I taught her the word zombie and we both agreed that the key to surviving a plane crash was to sit next to and/or be Brad Pitt. Best.language class.ever.
And because Thanksgiving is six days away, here are six things I’m thankful for:
1) Steady electricity. Infrastructure has improved so much in the four years we were in the States and I see it and appreciate it most based on how many things I can plug in (very American of me).
2) Our expat community. We are small, tight group and I’m thankful every day for the family that lives next door with their kids, for my Aussie friend and our weekly girls-night, for British, Finnish, Korean and German perspective, language and food that makes our life here fascinating.
3) My house helper. She is a jewel. She allows me to do a good job home schooling and she is so patient with my tortured Farsi, my lack of sewing skills and Jack Jack’s “help” in the kitchen.
4) My husband. He works very hard to make sure we are safe, warm and well cared for in addition to his work and language learning. He really is Mr. Incredible.
5) Turkeys from the military base for sale in our local bazaar. Your tax dollars at work. Thank you.
6) All of you. Your prayers, your interest in our family and your comments and emails that keep me encouraged and connected.
Eid-e Shakur etan Tabrik Boshan. Have a Happy Feast of Thanks.