Day 18 (Thursday April 16, 2009)...Great Food!
I tossed and turned all last night. I haven't had poor sleep like that since coming here. So, yet again, I slept in...yes I know, woe is me.
More of the same classes today. But, this evening we had a group dinner in which the Afghanistan workers here at Fort Riley, cooked us a traditional meal. As you see in the pictures, we had rice (similar to fried rice), chicken with a cumin/curry based sauce (at least that's what I thought) and salad with a light dressing (tasted like Italian). They also served us tea, which was to simulate Chai tea, but I'm pretty sure it was Lipton's Lemon Ice-Tea. While moving through the food line, I attempted to speak Dari to the Afghans. Things I said were, "Salaam alaikum" (Hello), and "As deedan-e shumaa khosh shudam" (I am pleased to meet you) and "Tashakor" (Thank you). Washing hands is immensely important prior to eating in Afghanistan, due to the fact that they do not use utensils. Thus, one must use your right hand to eat. Why the right hand you ask(?). Well, the left is considered dirty...sometimes they don't have access to toilet paper...I'll let you draw your own conclusions from that. So, we all used only our right hands to eat. Oh, one food item I forgot was the bread. It is a flat bread similar to Indian flat bread or pita bread. If one is smart, they will use the bread to scoop the food. This works with limited success. Finally, you'll notice tables without legs, on the floor. The Afghans do not sit on chairs, so we were not going to either. All in all, the food was great. In speaking with one our Afghan teachers, Hamraz, I am informed the food in Afghanistan is vastly better than what we ate. If that's the case, I'm looking forward to the local cuisine. By the way, as you look at the pictures above, it has become evident to most of us here that Hamraz resembles Eric Estrada, "Ponch", from the TV show Chips. What do you think?
As I settled in for the night, I realized I was out of clean underwear for tomorrow...RATS! While I suppose going "commando" in my fatigues is an option, I will likely fight for a washer and dryer tonight. Life's tough. Good night.