Sunday, June 16, 2013

The other side of town

It's been a long time! Sorry about that. I've been doing a bajillion things since I got here. My host family is awesome so far... the teenager in my house (Baha) has been trying really hard to make me feel welcome and hang out with me. We have pretty much hung out every night since I got here, and I've even met a few of his friends. 

My new house is actually on the other side of town from where I was last year. Before I lived off of Ayni Street in the Southeast side of town. Now I am off the other major road (Rudaki) in the Northeast corner of the city. It's about a 45 minute walk from here to there. It's probably still about half an hour on busses, but at least you dont have to walk! I'm excited to be in another part of town, because I never really explored this part of the city before. It'll be good for me to see more things and try different places! 

This house is similar to the one I was in last year, with a hovli and courtyard like before. Interestingly, my room is separate from all the other rooms and I can enter from the hovli. It's a friggin' huge room, with wall to wall carpets/rugs and a desk and bed. The bathroom (toilet/sink) and shower (seperate, walk in room) are also off the hovli. My classes and the American Councils office is about a 15 minute walk from my place.

On Friday we headed to the embassy and yesterday we got our schedules for class and I was able to visit my host family from last summer.

After going through some serious security, the embassy was pretty cool. We got the typical lectures about safety, and a stand-up routine was provided by the American medical doctor at the embassy. He introduced us to new terminology for the toilets here: 'squatty potty'. Lets just say he was a riot.

My schedule is as follows:
Tajiki 10:30-12:20
Conversation 12:30-2:20

Mass Media 8:30-10:20
Grammar 10:30-12:20

Literature and Culture 8:30-10:20
Tajiki 11:30-1:20

Mass Media 12:30-2:20
Conversation 2:30-4:20

Grammar 8:30-10:20
Tajiki 10:30-11:20
Conversation 1:30-2:20

After we got our schedules, they were going to take us to the Bazaar Sabz, which was the bazaar near my old house. I asked for permission to break from the pack and head to my old place! Luckily they said yes so I headed to the bazaar with them and picked up a watermelon. From there I headed to my old host family's house. As I was walking down the street, I saw Sharnoza (my previous host mother) and she instantly recognized me. She was with two of the women in the extended family, and she left them and walked with me back to the house.

On our way we stopped at the extended family's house (where the girls from last year's program lived) and they were all very excited to see me. Barrington will be happy to know that after the first three questions (when did you arrive, how are you, how long are you here for) the fourth question was always "Did Behrooz come?". It was awesome to visit with Sharnoza and the kids, though unfortunately Sharif was at work. Sharnoza said that any day off I had, I was welcome to hang out at their house. Felt pretty cool!

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