Learning Dari, and other stuff

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!

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3 thoughts on “Learning Dari, and other stuff

  1. Tee hee. Not sure if you are Australian, but yeah, “sticking out like dog’s balls” is an Australian expression. Though some days I feel I should have Dog’s Balls tatooed on my forehead.

    My google alerts came up with your blog. Will subscribe.

  2. Yay! I am a fan of your blog.

    I’m not Australian, by the way, I’m something of a European/American hybrid. I did live in Australia for a short time some years back, though.

  3. Hey, I’m a hybrid too! I’m Chinese Australian, which causes many people to look uber confused when I say I’m Australian.

    And speaking of Oz-speak, I told someone yesterday that NGO X pisses on NGO Y from a great height. And was asked what that meant. Heh.

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