I’m being tutored in conversational Dari by Z, an awesome volunteer from one of the organizations I work for. He’s also giving me cultural advice on how to avoid making a total ass of oneself as a foreigner in Afghanistan. I’ve already come away with a couple of interesting lessons.
1) I’m vampire pale with slightly Asiatic-looking eyes (strange, considering I don’t have any Asian ancestors, as far as I know of) and dark hair. This means that, with the right clothes, I can blend in pretty easily in Afghanistan, according to Z. Not sticking out, in the words of blogger Pyjama Samsara, “like a dog’s balls” can only be a positive thing.
2) I keep mixing up the phrases for “No thank you, I don’t eat that” and “No thank you, I don’t want to buy that.” Thus, I will tell some Kabul clothing vendor that I don’t eat shoes, thanks anyway!