Saturday, October 27, 2007


Rohit and Lucy were in town a few weeks ago, and we had lunch with them. We went to this fast food sushi place (yes, it sounds like a bad idea, and yes, it was a bad idea). Rohit got this volcano roll, which was raw fish wrapped in rice and nori, but covered in cooked fish chunks, salmon roe and melted cheese.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chi maqbool ast?

Today while leaving FSI, I had a short conversation with one of the Dari teachers:

Her: You have an important weekend coming up!
Me: Yes, I do.
Her: (Something in Dari that I didn't understand).
Me: (Looking befuddled).
Her: (Looking concerned, repeats something in Dari that I didn't understand, except I got the phrase "you will be pretty.")
Me: (Still kind of befuddled).
Her: (Switching to English, now looking very grave) You will fix your eyebrows so that you look pretty?
Me: (Noticing her perfectly plucked brows for the first time) Um, I guess so.

(Post title translation: What is beautiful?)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Verb Conjugation

Today's lesson: conjugation.

Man entehaar karda-am
Tu entehaar karda-ee
Oh entehaar karda-ast
Maa entehaar karda-aim
Shumah entehaar karda-aid
Oonah entehaar karda-and


I have committed suicide.
You have committed suicide.
He/she has committed suicide.
We have committed suicide.
You (plural) have committed suicide.
They have committed suicide.

I have attacked.
You have attacked.
He/she has attacked ...

And so forth.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


This week, I learned the following words in Dari

- extremist
- to kill
- suicide attack
- to threaten

I still don't know how to say "tomato."

Monday, October 15, 2007

How soon we forget!

It was a great weekend in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Such a great time to see my old friends, brunch with my sister and just get away from the wedding for at least 48 hours. Well, at least for Masha. But on the last most she forget to mention one shining moment from our weekend of pleasure and sight-seeing.

We went to the Mall of America on Sunday to do the ferris wheel and, while there, decided to do the log flume. Well, I decided to do it, and then had to talk Masha into riding with me. Easy sell, but probably helped by the fact that Masha might not have known exactly what she was getting herself into.

So, at 11:00 a.m., we loaded ourselves into the log boat, and proceeded to have a nice ride around the inside of the mall, checking out historically accurate recreations of old mining towns, Paul Bunyan and his ox, Blue, and a cute little settler home. Anyway, as we got higher and higher, Masha got more and more scared. I guess the anticipation was getting to her, but by the time we hit the top of the flume, her nails were dug into my back, her nose was pressed against my spine and I have to assume that her eyes didn't see a thing on the ride down. Oh, and the scream into my ear probably would have shattered her eyeglasses if she had been wearing them.

So, needless to say, she's up for our bungee-jumping adventure in New Zealand next year. And here is a little picture of our "pre-flume" bliss. Can we do it again????

Does anyone know any Minnesota puns?

Because I was trying to come up with a cute/cheesy title for this blog post, which is about how we went to Jeremy's college friend Spencer's wedding in the Twin Cities this weekend, and I couldn't think of a single pun.

Anyway, I had been afraid that we were pushing it, flying to a wedding just two weeks before our own, but I have to say it was the best escape from wedding planning I've had in months. We just danced and drank and had a good time, and didn't think about our wedding at all. OK, we didn't think about our wedding much. OK, I thought about it a little. But there was only so much I could to, as Jeremy had forced me to leave the laptop at home for the weekend.

Our rental car was a Subaru Forester, which transported me back to my Alaska days, when I drove a black Forester. I loved that car. Here is a picture of the one we rented, which had an awesome sunroof.

Plus, it matched my coat.

So, since we were at a wedding, I feel that we have to post a picture of the bride and groom. Unfortunately, I didn't take a single good photo of them. This is the best one:

The wedding was Jeremy's first reunion in years with his college buddies. Apparently, he was known back then as "Blondie," and it was kind of wierd to hear everyone referring to him that way. Seems he was a bit of a partier in college - seriously! Who'da thunk it?

It was a karaoke wedding, and so, I finally got to sing karaoke. It took me awhile to pick a song, because all the best songs are about heartache, and I thought it might be a faux pas to bust out "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" at a wedding. So I sang "Something to Talk About" instead, and this nice girl came up and helped me out:

Then there was a cup pyramid.

And the night ended with what I am told is a revered tradition at a bar these boys used to frequent. It involved, among other things, loud singing of Billy Joel's "Piano Man." I had to crop the photo to protect the innocent (this is the Internet, after all), but trust me when I say that it was a sight to behold ...

All in all, an entertaining evening.

Also during our stay in Minnesota, we visited the Mall of America, which was a short drive from our hotel. It's a mile-long loop of stores wrapped around an indoor amusement park. My favorite part was the Lego dinosaur park:

And of course, we had to ride the ferris wheel, which brings our total up to four. I don't think that there will be much opportunity for ferris wheel riding in Kabul, but you never know.

The End.

Friday, October 12, 2007

We have reservations ...

... for our flight to Kabul. Actually, we have reservations for our flight to Dubai. That's as far as the Carlson Wagonlit office at FSI (Foreign Service Institute) could get us - apparently, you can't get an e-ticket to Kabul. Who knew? We now have to wait for the travel office at Embassy Kabul to book us the rest of the way. But it's real now; we are leaving DC on December 10.

Dari lessons are going well, considering. Jeremy and I are now in different classes, and are learning different vocabulary. Today, for example, Jeremy learned the words for intestines and kidney, whereas I mastered a few key phrases: "I am not a spy;" "Please don't kidnap me," and "Where are the hostages?" Meanwhile, I have yet to master the subjunctive. I only have two more weeks of class, so we'll see how much more I can soak up.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

26 days out

The wedding is swiftly approaching, and Jeremy and I have been very busy since his arrival in DC. We have been catching up with old friends, studying Dari (a full-time job in itself), folding wedding programs, driving to Staunton to taste food, sample beer, and figure out where pictures will be shot, etc. I have found planning the wedding fun but stressful, while Jeremy can't understand what, exactly, I am perpetually stressed out about. I guess that's a metaphor for more than the pre-wedding period.

I haven't blogged in awhile because I couldn't imagine that anyone would be interested in the mundane day-to-day of my life right now. I think I was right ...