Sister ‘S’ is getting engaged!
Tuesday 3rd April 2006
I haven’t been able to enter any blog entries (poor internet services) so here I am typing it on Microsoft word hoping for a miracle to take place and ta-da internet is connected. YEAH RIGHT!
Once again, I managed to wield my way out of marriage. Tehehehe. But for how long? Never mind, I’ll tackle the proposals one at a time.
In the meantime however, my gorgeous sister S is getting engaged. Yay! She said ‘yes’ to the proposal so basically the pre-wedding procedure happens in three steps (thanks to Mama Haji- dads uncle, for explaining).
Firstly, you have the lafz stage -parental approval of the wedding. It basically involves the parents of both the potential bride and groom to sort out any discrepancies privately and at the same time agree to the engagement. Brides family hands sweets and chocolate to the grooms family. I wish I was told this three years ago! I thought lafz was publicised for EVERYONE. Where the hell was my lifeline when I needed it? Damn it.
Secondly, this is publicised by the shirnee daadan process where the entire world is given the news (okay fine- I exaggerated, not the entire world! Just the afghans which means that news will travel at the speed of light and eventually the entire planet is bound to find out). In all seriousness, this stage hasn’t arrived yet. So I really don’t have a clue what happens.
Thirdly, is the engagement party. Self explanatory, really.
So yeah, tomorrow is the lafz. End of topic, it’s boring me already.
Yesterday we had coffee at Kabul City Centre. I felt like I was in Australia. the shopping cenre, the social atmosphere (it was around 4pm so all the business executives and ‘normal’ people had gathered) it felt like home. I think I found my haven when/if Kabul gets too much for me.
I also bough a huge afghan flag from the famous tourist place- Chicken Street (aka koochayeh morgha).Why? I don’t know. Patriotism. Hehe.
There was another shop with long elegant coats made of mink or wolf skin, cat skin, rabbit- you name it! Animal rights issues aside, they were beautiful. They only cost $500AU for the best in stock. It also comes with fur hats. Elite, classy, stylish.
The best part of today was Chelsea Supermarket. Everything is imported so they’re good quality stuff. I’m talking Cadbury chocolate, Ferrero Rocher, genuine designer perfumes, shampoos etc. Woolies has come to Kabul, YAY! I was so relieved. It’s pricey but who cares, it’s the closest thing to Woolworths.
Oh yeah, we bought a house. Finally! I’ve been living from a suitcase for the past three months. Argh!As I was saying, it’s a huge house. Twenty three rooms, five bathrooms and it’s four-five storeys high. Mashaallah! It was around US$260 000 (roughly 24 million Afghanis). The first thought that came to my head when I heard of the price was ‘imagine how many people that would feed?’
I have a job interview tomorrow. Found out in a very strange way. we were in the car, heading to Kabul City Centre today when a white 4WD with United Nations plates stopped on the side of the road. One of the men signalled for us to pull over. I thought it was trouble. He came over to my window and started talking to me. I had no idea who he was until my brother mentioned his name. he had recognised me (I had been to his office a while ago). He told me to call him later in the day and he’ll notify me abuo the job interview. How very odd! Called him, am due for an interview tomorrow at 1pm.
Returned home to realised that S needs jewelry and shoes to go with the dress. So we went shopping again. Walking to the shops, I noticed a black 4WD slowing down next to us with tinted windows. The guy inside was full on looking. ‘omg is that bejaan?’ the afghan rapper! My sister had a blank look on her face. The guys standing a few metres away from us caused a quick commotion ‘ohooo bejan jaaneh kunduzi’. That confirmed it! It WAS him. Anyways, we went on doing our shopping- we promised dad we’d be home before dark.
Erm.. I’m really very tired. Will write some more later. Dodgy internet.
I just felt the ground shake like crazy. I woke Bro S and T, we started freaking out saying we should run downstairs. But outside everyone was pretty normal as if they didn’t feel it. Like it happens in horror movies- you sense stuff no one else can. But yeah, it was the first time something like that happened. Its over now.
Okay right now it’s 8.15am 4 April, I’m in bed. Still no internet connection, I’m tired as but cant sleep, work must be done. I’ve been up since 6am- todays S’s lafz ceremony. Lafz was given. Our driver came at 12pm to pick us up, stopped by at Kabul City Centre (shopping centre) picked up S’s dress (indian stuff). The guy that served us is so nice, he got the dress tailored to fit my sister and he bought my brother anti-acne cream.
Anyways, then we went to my job interview. I was escorted by W to the conference room where I waited for a while. One of the other workers was passing by, he stopped over to say hello and wished me luck for the interview. Interview went extremely well, was interviewed by a german who immediately picked up my Australian accent. She said I was a ‘fantastic candidate’ because of my business expertise and academic studies. She’ll get back to me within a week.
Next stop: mama Haji’s house for the lafz ceremony. I was running late- it was 2pm and people were due at 3pm. And S was asleep when I went in. took her to the salon, did her grooming. Went back, she got dressed. Went in to say hello to the guests. Lafz took place. Presents were distributed- the only recipient was S. she got gold, American dollars and more gold. eventually, they all left.
That was that.
Ba omideh deedaar khuda negahdaar!
Kabul Coffee House
Hezar ranjo aatash o gham..naamash ishq
Hezar dardo gham wa balaah.. naamash yaar
My new hang out place. Went there today for another job interview, atmosphere is so cosy and comfortable. Mainly for foreigners, the only afghans there were the waiters. Dad and I had a pretty long wait, an hour. We had coffee- my first in Afghanistan. Interview went well, got offered a job as a ‘civic development’ lecturer at Kabul University. But my only concern is I HATE TEACHING. But I’ll give it a go-I want to make maximum use of myself, I’m considering working 8am-4pm at my other office (if I get the job) and 4pm-7pm at the university. Hmmm….
Until next time…
Ba omideh deedaar, khuda negahdaar.
PS My internet should be connected tomorrow. Oh yeah, got news today- grandparents are flying over from Australia within a matter of weeks. Spoke to my paternal grand dad, man was he happy to hear that S is engaged. Cant wait til he comes. My maternal grandma also arrived from Paki land today.
Not again?! Another suicide blast
Mr Suicide bomber detonated himself this morning at Darulaman, Kabul. He killed 4 instantly, one died on his way to the hospital and 5 were injured.
Left Kabul for the first time. We went to Maidan- mum’s hometown. Grandma wanted to take Nawroozi for her soon to be daughter in law (currently engaged to my uncle). A few days ago there was a crossfire between Taliban fighters and ISAF troops in Maidan. Basically, the city is full of Taliban sympathisers who are truly dedicated to their cause.
We had to cross a river through the water (bridge had collapsed due to floods a few days back). Thankfully it was a 4WD. it was an hours drive, not a nice scene at all (surprisingly!). Compared to Jalalabad and Laghman, it was very dry, plain and flat.
At my mums-brothers- in-laws place, everything was predictable. We had lunch, ladies sang around a dayra. Some ladies got up and danced while others clapped and sang along. Mum told me to dance, I told her I didn’t want to in a subtle way. She kept insisting- literally pulling me by the hand. Jesus Christ!! I don’t want to dance, just want to sit and watch- which part of that don’t they understand? Spent the whole time counting the minutes (our driver instructed us to leave at 4.30pm at the latest due to insecurity along the way). Mum and grandma ended up staying a bit longer- great, more boredom for me! Everything was in Pashto.
Finally, it was time to leave. I said my goodbyes quickly and left for the car taking the front seat. Yay! It meant hearing more jihadi stories from our driver. He told me stories about how he had fought in Maidan for one and a half years during the Soviet invasion and pointed out their tracks through the mountains which they travelled by foot.
Still no internet- DODGY AFGHAN TELECOM! Typing this on Microsoft Word. It was supposed to be connected yesterday!
There’s an engagement party tomorrow at 9am (what the?). Doubt I’ll go! I need to find a job… there’s nothing else to do here. They must have emailed me- but I got no net!
ARGH! I’m going to sign out because I’m getting F R U S T R A T E D.
Ba omideh deedaar, khuda negahdaar.
Saturday 7th April
She takes burdened steps into her new life
Her heart cries, her eyes weep
My heart had always wanted you, only you
The wounds you left me with only adds to my beauty
Like the scarred moon…
Ajmal Naqshbandi is still detained with the scruffy Talibans! They have issued an ultimatum which declares for the afghan government to meet their requirements by Monday otherwise they will execute Naqshbandi. I’m dying to find out more, but everything is in Dari (or even worst, Pashto!) and I still have no net. So dodgy!
The song from Devdas came on TV. I’m not a fan of indian movies but I fell in love with ‘Devdas’ when I watched it. It’s truly a classic! Anyways, the song is from the scene where it’s Parvatis final moments with her beloved Devdas before being taken away to her new husband, whom she doesn’t love. It’s all very powerful and emotional.
S and older R went to the engagement party with my grandma and yes, it was at 9am. I stayed home with mum, cooked and helped with the chores (which I HATE). Had to get some groceries for mum so I went with lil R to the shops near our place. I dread passing groups of eyes, I can feel them staring as if they have never seen girls in their entire life. or maybe it’s because they can tell we’re from ‘khaarij’ (referring to the west). as I was walking past I heard two boys talking loudly enough for me to hear, the conversation went something like this:
Guy 1- these girls are from the same place as you are
Guy 2- oh really? From Canada? Where do they live?
I didn’t hear the rest but at this point I just watned to turn around and blast them off verbally. Instead I continued walking, if I had done that- they would have taken it as though I have lead them on. YEAH RIGHT! Wishful thinking!
Rest of the day was spent serving tea, lunch, dinner, tea, tea and more tea. One of dads relatives came over proposing for his son- NOT INTERESTED, MATE! My sisters in laws came over- they came over with sweets and bought her a chunky solid gold bracelet (typical Afghan gift). We too gave them gifts.
I’m getting extremely aggravated with the dodgy internet services here. By the way, water has stopped running but electricity has been good to us. You don’t realise it, but without electricity life is dull. When the power used to return after a day of no electricity my sisters and I would jump for joy yelling, ‘YAY ELECTRICITY IS BACK!’ as if it’s a truck load of chocolates. Believe me, it’s more than that. Imagine life without electricity!
I’m looking forward to tomorrow- I’ll be seeing Kaka Sidiq at the orphanage. Bliss!
Ba omideh deedaar, khuda negahdaar!
Sunday 8 April 2007
Az roozeh ke tu rafti pareedeh rangeh shaadi.
Amma khursheed metaabeh mesleh yek roozi aadih
Chetoor haanoz parandeh daareh havayeh parwaaz
Magar khabar nadaran tu rafti az kenaram
Chera baret nagoftan bi tu che haaleh daaram.
Ba chashme khastayeh mann, Asemoon az sang shudeh.
La’nat ba een tanhayee, dilam barat tang shudeh
-Tanhayee (Persian song)
Baran mebaarad emshaab, dilam gham daarad emshaab
Araameh jaaneh khasteh ra mesparam emshab
Qatreh qatreh ashkeh chashmam mechakeh ba nam nammeh baraan
Rangeh chashmat rangeh darya seenayeh mann dashteh ghamha
Yaadem ayad zeereh baraan baa tu boodam, zireh baraan baa tu tanha
Zeereh baraan gerya kardam, bal ke barran shoyad goonah az jaanem.
– Baraan (Omid)
Emshab mikhaam mast beshaam,
Een jaaneh naqabeleh hast, hezar fadayeh tu besheh
Beyofteh zeereh qadam haat, ke khaakeh paayetu besheh
Kohneh sharaab, kohneh sharaab emshab baal o param bedi
Emshab mekham harf bezanam khandeh konam geryeh konam
Lutfee konn saaqi emshab chand barabaram bedi
Emshab parr o baal daram, shoor daram haal daram
mmmmm..ba omideh deedaar, khuda negahdaar…
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