one truly beautiful thing for one who has escaped the dog-loving country of the brits is that people take it as a matter of course that you viciously kick an annoying dog, even if it's someone's pet.
another is the afghan scarf, multi-use checkered piece of cloth, which sort of makes me think of the hitchhikers' guide towel. you can wrap it around your neck. you can drape it over your head to keep the sun off. you can wrap it around your head like a turban. you can wrap it around your face in order to keep the dust out of your nose and mouth. you can casually drape it over your shoulders and use it as a handkerchief. you can put it over your face or lie down on it when taking a nap. you can tie it around your face and walk around looking like a palestinian terrorist and no one will spare you a second glance. it is good to have an afghan scarf, like when hailing a cab at night.
'oh you're foreign. i thought you were panjshiri until i heard you talking now,' taxi driver says. but by that time we have already agreed the fare and no one is quoting me ridiculous inflated price in dollars. 'so what are you doing in afghanistan?'
i look at them a bit and then give an exaggerated 'i have no fucking idea, believe me' shrug and they laugh.
'anyway, you're speaking farsi well. where are you from?'
'actually i don't really understand farsi, i only just started with it. do you speak urdu?'
taxi drivers almost always understand urdu and then i can start explaining today's made-up story of where i'm from.
multi-lingual company is great. you can play silly linguistic games like chinese telephones, whereby someone says something to the next person in, say, persian, which the second person translates on into english, thence the third into urdu and so on, and thence into finnish... and so "these are indeed the tallest sunflowers i have ever seen in my life" becomes "fuck me what a big flower".