Cookie Tong

It's Honey Box


In animal hands

Afghanistan Animal Count! Fox: 1 (beguiling and charming prince of moderate scale, perhaps it would not be presumptuous to claim him rascally, even)Turtles: 1 (dead) (but that means they have them here!)Crabs: 1 (because crabs are shellfish, they aren’t hallal (Islamic kosher) so the village people hate them and don’t touch them)Hedgehog: 1 (dead)(Really! I was surprised too. But there it was, dead on the river bank)Birds: uncountable (at least 6 or 7 varieties including this stork like bird) (whoah right now I just had déjà vu of some other animal list)Cats: 42 (only in Kabul) (the Villagers say that they are here but I haven’t seen them)Frogs: 50-60Cows: 4 BillionCamels: Maybe 6 or 7. (Most people don’t have them in the north, except the nomads or as they are called here “cuchi”)Goats and Sheeps: 2 BillionDonkeys: about 30 (donkey’s faces are so awesome!)Turkeys: AWW YEAH! Maybe 15 or so, including baby turkeys, including this one really confused turkey that came into our room this one time.Chickens: a couple millCat-Dogs: 3 or 4 really weird dogs that act like cats and climb these huge walls and one doesn’t have any ears.
Boring Lizards: 1, it was so boring
flamboyant and kind lizards: 1 so bright and beautiful!


Taking it to the streets

Yeah! today was a day off and nice one at that. hey man nice one! I got up at 7:30 am and Joony and I and Alim and his really cute 4 year old son (this guy we met who stepped on a land mine a couple years ago and runs this mine vicitms group)(so scary with the four year old and four people on one motorcycle) all rode together on his motorcycle to go to the bagram hospital. But we were too heavy for his motorcycle so about half way there we met up with this wedding caravan and rode on the roof of their van filled with colorfully dressed girls and load iranian music with a seemingly excessive amount of drums. Then we got off in some town because they asked us to pay and we did not want to do that. Then it turned out we sort of broke alims motorcycle with our weight, so we had to stop at a mechanic (which in farsi is prounounced Mr. E or kind of like mystery said slowly, i'm serious its awesome! and some times people say they are Mr. E to me and I love them!) but luckily it only cost one dollar to fix (its afghanistan) and we had the best tea of our life while waiting. then we left his son with a friend. and drove to the hospital. He got hooked up with a date for some surgery and then we rode back. On the way back we stopped at his organization's small office and everyone took off thier prosthetic arms and legs and hands and showed us and told us how the leaders of thier province were crooks and steeped in nepotism and wouldn't help them at all or give them any kind of compensation for their injury. There are about 400 people in their union and they all have these tiny serious looking headshot photos in this big plastic bag. They want me to contact the American Army and get them some help. I don't know about that but I hope we can assist them in some way.

On the way back home we stopped at Alim's house and drank about 7 glasses of tea. We saw his village (Kharukhsi) which is part of Granshakh and near Rogamati (my village) but is more beautiful and more poor, in this valley by the river. Then we got on the motorcycle again but it got a flat tire and we had to walk a couple miles. When we got back home I helped our neighbors build this wall.

Alim is a really awesome dude although I wonder how much the metal in his face and eye from the landmine affects his brain. He literally never stops talking for the whole 2 hour motorcycle ride. And most of the time he was just asking me if I was good or okay. About every 15 seconds he would turn to me and say, "Khub as?" and he wasn't just saying it he always expected me to give an answer and would ask me until I did. And when he wasn't saying that he was saying, "Chetor Kunem?" which is kind of like saying, "but hey, what can you do?" as in, "I've got no money so I can't buy this thing i want...but hey, what can you do?" and he always called us the wrong names even during other people calling us the right names. He calls me Kecko or Kacki and Joony, Genom and Junum. He also kept asking us if we were friends. He's probably like 40 years old. It's good [Ed. later we found our that Junum means friend in iranian farsi, and that kacki means dirty and kecko means gay, but i don't think he meant that as an insult i think he really thought those were our names, and also I think the metal has effected his brains]


Bin laden jokes!

Everyone's favorite jokes here are to (a) point at someone and say he's Al-Quaida or Bin Laden or Mullah Omar (Taliban leader) or to (b) point at someone and say they are from some otther country than Afghanistan, such as Germany or Africa (which apparently they think is a country). I didn't think Al-Quadia and Bin laden jokes would be cool here but apparently they eat em up like hot hot heat.



I expected to play a lot of soccer here in the village but instead for some weird reason they all love volleyball. what a weird choice. dang


I am Zarif Nijat: itelligent,handsome ,powerful and friendly

That title came from the auto-fill thing. I love other humans and their ways! I love their ways!

Today I went hunting with the commander! (yes my life is really so awesome that I can say like that and it be the truth!)

At 4:30 am the commander's body and voice arrive in our room informing us that we are going bird hunting. Last night he said 5:30 but these numbers are not those numbers but different ones. But it doesn't matter and the commander walks so very fast! I can't believe his speed! (Joe and steven, how come we never talk about speed?! Do you realize about speed!?)

As we run/walk many guns are heard around the valley. 4:30 must be the hott time for shooting small animals bodies with metal and whatever else we have on hand. Soon we enter a grove of trees (Is this a grove? what does a grove really look like? do you think this is that word?) and we meet about 10 other villagers crouching behind trees and bushes with guns and in some cases muskets (really! those muskets! rev war baby!) looking like mujahadeen, the 70s and 80s guerilla fighters of Afghanistan. Boys and dads are bonding in the hunt for deliecious bird snacks. I wonder what kind of birds we will kill and kill well and hard? Soon guns are firing again and some birds go down bad. But these birds we shoot are so small like sparrows! And some guys behind me are firing really innappropriately loud guns for shooting such small tasty friends of earth. I go to watch some guy reload his musket. He is pieces of cloth! Soon my brains remember that it is 5 in the morning. I go to sleep. I wake up again to innapproapriate loudness. A few feet away some boy is getting yelled at like some boy is invarialby getting yelled at during all occasions like this. Maybe when he was cutting off the small birds' small heads he made some cutting mistake. I wonder when we can go back home and to sleep. I don't think the commander has killed any birds yet. I decide to pick some nice flowers. There are some really nice flowers here! I pick four colors. Finally around 7:30 and 3 hours of hunting we leave, the commander didn't get anything but on the way home he takes to birds down with cheap shots as they were sitting on the ground.


Kites for missing dogs and dog bag kites

It's 7:30ish in the PM, I'm wearing a self-made turban, the wind sweeps across this field because no one can come up with a better verb for wind activity (so I might as well say, "the wind is engaged in wind activity.") and once again I can't believe my beautiful crystal knife of a life!

Also there is so much wind here always engaging in wind activity. and silence. windy silence and wind science and wind slice silos, all try to work it out. It's real real nice. It's peaceful. and nice. Last night I had the most peaceful BM of my life. We go to the toilet in this field and at night the wind is there residing in its stead and making do with what it can, folding itself into triangles of half space and half sound and cool cool air and then this amazing sky shows up with all these stars, and there are no dogs with their dog attitudes and dog faces and this BM I was having, which I had, was like a dream.


Today I taught the Alphabet to a man with six fingers.

Seeing as how we are staying at the commanders house, thier family has decided that we own them some english lessons. So we taught the commander, a man with 6 fingers (ED: as it turns out a common village occurence), and three of C-dog's sons the alphabet. I am not sure how often we will do it, but tonight was kind of fun. Also, as you can imagine in your mind's eyes there is a very little light at night here (that is after the two hours of electricty from 8-10 from the town generator shuts off). So you cannot even believe the stars they have here. I mean its so beautiful it looks totally fake. It looks like a planetarium or a movie company logo. But its more beautiful and more fake!

Some Birds

I am now so far behind on my blog that instead of posting some valuable information about my life, I will post this most amazing story that I aparently wrote April 27th but don't remember writing at all:

"Some birds came here, to this very cave."
"Cave or Cove?"
"Cave or Cove?"
"Oh, 'Cove' actually"
"Yeah, that's what I thought."


First Day in the Village

As advertised above, today was the first day in the village. The village is a beautiful tetherball of quiet nicities. The mountains are as beautiful as all get out. Right now I am writing this in the "teacher's lounge" at school here and all the teachers are staring at me and talking about things only vaguely understand, mainly the parts about me writing. Anyway we sat in on a class and then we arranged our room. Our room is pretty nice. Actually its too nice. It even has some carpet and paint on the walls. We had to end up living at the commanders, which is a little fancy (by poor village standards) because the commander is rich (by village standards). We didn't want to live there because he is too rich and also because there is a bit of a power struggle going on and we didn't want to live with the powerful people, but only the commander has final say on where we are staying and everyone else is too afraid to go against that (and also don't really want to help that much)

Anyway after school we arranged our things and said goodbye, which was sad. Just when I was finally getting used to the people and the surroundings in Kabul I have to move and adjust to somewhere new. I miss friends both old and new and mainly this one girl I know. But I will adjust again soon, like the sweet claims adjuster that I am.

So after everyone left we met these two guys, Zyat and Farhad and we looked at this english textbook together and at Zyat's various expired IDs. (everyone seems to have some kind of expired ID or passport that they carry to show you proudly).

We also cooked dinner. Our room always smells like gas and onions and gas all the time because we cook and live and do everything in our one room which which smells like gas and onions. We cook in the far corner of the room (the one that doesn't have the mickey mouse, beijing 2008 cabinet in it), so that corner helps our room to smell like gas and onions from our small gas burner and our smaller onions. Sometimes we open the window (actually all the time, its hot!), but sometimes the wind blows in a tremendous amount of dust (actually all the time, its hot!).


Sometimes I just can't think of titles, at all

Dang, I have a lot to post and talk about but things have been so busy and craayzeeee (whooaaaaaooah!) that I haven't had much time to write it all down. So sorry. I will try to get my act together. I also have many pictures but am trying and failing at posting them at various locations. But my life is beautiful as always and so are these donkeys and turkeys that are all over the village where I use my life. The only thing missing is that I feel like seeing a turtle but i don't know if they have those here.

Long Time no see, Long Tip Snowden on Ice.

Yes, well its been a while since i have posted on this here blog. It's not that there aren't things to write about because there are pages and pages of goodies in my journal. Its just that its difficult to find the time to type these bad boys up. So apologize. And it looks like the same goes for this week as actually I wrote some things on the office computer but the USB jump drive we use to take files to the internet cafe became broken. So we all lose don't we. I bet you really want to know what is happening in the village huh? me too. Well I hope that soon all will be revealed unto your eyes. In the mean time keep it mean time. got it?

oh yeah until i do somethings i finally have a temporary site where you can see pictures of me hanging around afghanistan. but they are alittle older so there are no village shots. sorry brah!

site of glory:

some of the pictures have some explanations. some of them totally don't. you win some you lose some I guess.



Yesterday, in two seperate incidents my grandma died and the internet cafe we frequent was suicide bombed.

No one we knew was there but someone that someone knew was there. This just as I was telling my friend Justin that afghanistan is much more stable than iraq. Stable meaning on the surface as in there isn't an insane war raging. Underneath of course there are intense amounts of turmoil and tension, not just against foriegn occupiers but also among the many ethic groups. Pashtuns don't like Hazaras or Tajiks, Tajiks don't like Pashtuns or Hazaras, Hazaras don't like Pashtuns and Tajiks, nobody likes russians, some people like Americans, some people hate Americans. As a group no ones hands are clean after years of infighting, backstabbing, civil war, profiteering, occupation, 10 million landmines, Communism, power, money, greed, islamic extremism, terrorism, and "liberation."

But as people they are all just people, not stereotypes, not homogenous, not without love. They've got reasons for things. They've got good or bad reasons for good or bad things. They've got good or excellent reasons for bad or terrible things. They make/made/planned/paid for mistakes, They're sorry, they're not sorry, they're so terribly sorry, they keep making mistakes, they beat their wives, they love their wives, they think they love thier wives. They make carpets, They make teapots, they dig ditches, they teach science. They beat women to death for trying to be humans, They put people in gas tanks and shoot rockets into those people. They heal people at hospitals, they pray to a god, they write poetry, they sing, they dance, they lie, they steal, they grow beards, they grow animals, they grow old, they die young, they fail, they let down their parents, they rebuild, they destroy, they tear apart their bodies with bombs in internet cafes.