If you’ve been keeping up with the weather forecast in Kabul, you know that Wednesday has been a day of high winds. Our buildings are made of metal, so we get a lot of whistling noises when the wind blows, even if it’s a gentle breeze. The winds today were not gentle breezes. They blew up a dust storm that put big brown blanket on the world.
I was sneezing like crazy because of all the dust in the air. The locals were laughing at me and I got a little impatient and asked how they deal with the dust when it blows (literally) like this. They responded by showing me that, for the most part, every person who lives here has what the locals call, “Brown Lung.” They are all just a little closer to the earth than I am. To dust you will return, the old saying goes. They are pretty much there already.
In any case, the wind was blowing like crazy, but we stayed in the office for the most part, and missed the brunt of the weather. For a while though, it really started to storm and though we lost power, we are used to that, and continued to work up until dinner time. To my surprise, when I left the building to go home, the camp was gone, and standing in front of me was a small group of people who said (phonetically) “Kesh amadeed ba muchtama tujarati chueshakee!” I asked Ghafoor what in the world they were saying and it took a minute to translate from Dari to English, but roughly it was:
“Welcome! We are the men who gather in the place of business of the candy on a stick.”
Thankfully, when they realized that I could speak English, they proceeded, on behalf of the Lollipop Guild, to welcome me to Munchkin Land.
This is the reason that I believe the world is a very small place, and that we all can find common ground. Though the distances between us are great, and our ideologies may be worlds apart, we can all still be carried away by a thunderstorm to a magical land where we can all pursue the loftiest goal – killing witches.
Acknowledgements: I’d like to thank Ghafoor and several other Afghanis in the office for helping me to translate English to Dari and spell the phonetic representations of the phrases. A bonus for these Afghans is that now they know the plot of the Wizard of Oz. They didn’t seem to think that it would be a very good show. But then I told them about the flying monkeys. That got ‘em.