Friday, April 3, 2009

Afghan Sense of Humor -- They Have it BAD!

This past week saw April Fools Day. And believe it or not, a couple of my translators really got into it. While I was out of the office at a meeting, the two younger guys told the other two interpreters that I had received complaints about all the translators' performance. They were drinking too much chai (tea) and talking too much. In addition to that, their translations took to long. Since they were being so unproductive, we were letting a couple of them go and before lunch, the letters would be delivered.

After I returned to the office from my meeting, the room was deathly quiet. This is really serious stuff afterall. Our interpreters make more money than an Afghan Major General, so losing this job would be a huge blow to their families. The two younger guys kept looking over their computer monitors grinning at me, knowing the other two were really sweating. They had already prepped the envelopes and placed them in my drawer. Yeah, they got me in on it.

When I next left the office to go down the hall to talk to the Afghan Colonel I work with, I grimly handed the two older guys the envelope and walked out. The scene was reported to me when I came back. With downcast faces and trembling hands they opened the envelopes and read the letters.


When I got back to the office they were all still laughing. All in all the rest of day was not very productive because jokes were played at each other's expense until we went home.

This week's Kabul Scenes

Early Morning Soccer
As we drive past this field at 6AM each day, the game is in full swing.
Exception is rainy mornings.

Sisters Walking to School
With the start of the New Year and more daylight, school is in full swing.

Gathering the Flock of Wee Penguins
If we abandon these people again, scenes like this will be history.
The Taliban don't think girls should be educated.

Talented Lad
Sign painter on the way to a job.

Blogging buddy Momcat didn't think people were smiling enough on the first day of spring. Well, I'm here to prove that Afghans do smile...alot!

Unemployed Taliban?
Well, ok so this guy isn't smiling,
but it's probably because of all the other people smiling.
Maybe he's an unemployed Taliban reminiscing about the good old days
when he could beat women in public.

Are you looking at me?
Well, maybe a bit of a grimace.
No really, he's smiling.
When he saw the camera he pointed to himself to get his picture taken.

There is a sizable Hindu/Sikh population in Kabul.
I'd say he's contemplative. He might be smiling, but
with that dead animal on his face it's hard to tell.

Pretty mommy with new wee one.
Note the cell phone in her hand.

Happy Hazara!
He's pulling a cart with about a ton of rugs,
but he smiled for the camera.

Something really funny in those coconuts!
I almost had to break out the shades for this smile!

Two smiles!
The woman on the right was a good six foot two!
Note the ever-present cell phone.

Aw come on!
You mean you can't see her smile?