Friday, August 22, 2008

Dust Storms and Basketball

Living on the other side of the world, we got to watch the USA Men's gold winning performance live without loosing sleep today (basketball and volleyball).  The basketball game started at 11:30 AM for us and was just as nerve racking from the all the way in Afghanistan.  There are times in life when we realize that we are like our parents.  As I paced our lounge for the entire 4th quarter, I suddenly realized, "This is just like my dad.  I'm Bill Pandiani."  Not that being like my dad is a bad thing.  I always remember being in the stands, watching Dad coach basketball while pacing the bench or squatting on the floor. . . Apparently some of that's genetic.  And it made me miss that Italian.

But this post isn't about me missing my family, which is setting in more now that I'm realizing we're not visiting Kabul but living here.

We've officially been Kabul residents for over and month now.  I feel like we're both adjusting and that we're starting to feel more at home here.  Right now, Joey is kicking the soccer ball around the yard with Gulrahman and I just finished drinking my latte (very home-like things for both of us).  An hour ago we couldn't have done either of these things.  Right after the games, the power turned off because the generator had run out of water and it suddenly got very, very dark outside.  Our clear blue day was gone in seconds with high winds and dust everywhere.  Then it started to rain.  We quickly shut all the windows which were open because the power was off, although not fast enough to prevent a layer covering on everything in our house.  Fast forward an hour later and the generator is fixed, the power is on, my espresso machine is working, and the skies are blue again.

Here are some during and after pictures from the storm:

It's interesting to look at the things that I miss and the things I'm getting used to after just a month of being gone.  Like sandwiches, every time we watch an American TV show on DVD it seems like people are eating sandwiches and I want one.  Sliced bread is a little hard to find, deli style meat doesn't exist.  I also miss "to go" boxes, cups, etc.  When Afghans go out to eat, they eat a lot and don't leave much on the plate.  I cannot put away a pound of rice in one sitting and wouldn't mind taking some home.  But I suppose in a country where little is wasted or thrown away and what is tossed is usually tossed in the river; it's probably a good thing that they don't have to go boxes.  Joey misses tamales, tortillas and frijoles negros.  And people, we miss people.  There are so many incidents, stories and experiences that I want to tell a specific person right way.  I find myself thinking "Anya would have died laughing if she saw this," "Ailsa would be infuriated by this," "I want to discuss this with Kristalyn," or the most popular "I could really use a hug from Mary, Sarah, Pam, (fill in name here)."

But despite missing people, we are adjusting and really like it here.  Examples of adjustment:

On our way to our favorite coffee shop this weekend (Thursday-Friday), I was shocked to see an Afghan woman driving a car without a chador.  She must have been Afghan-American or something like that because a woman, especially an Afghan, driving a car is unheard of.  Going around without a chador can get you deported.  I wasn't the only one that noticed as every car that passed slowed to stare.

While watching TV, I felt slightly embarrassed when we flipped past a Indian channel with women doing aerobics in tighter pants and sleeveless tops.  Joey and I laughed as we realized that these women would be considered fully dressed in the states and women on TV back home often wear much less.

Although we're getting used to it, sometimes we still can't believe we live here.  We went to a friend's house for dinner tonight and while driving home Joey turned to me and said, "Can you believe we really live in Afghanistan?"  I think we'll be saying that as long as we live here.

1 comment:

I Hate Generic said...

Ha! I'm an easy person to infuriate!!

I'd mail you a sandwich if I could!