Instant English Instructor: Just add water.

Well, it was raining and pouring on my way to work today. That wouldn’t have been a problem except that I was going to work on my father’s motorcycle. (!!!!) My father and I were about halfway to the house where I was going to teach, when a drop of rain smacked me (when you’re going 60 kilometers an hour, the raindrops don’t land, they smack) in the face. I said, ‘Dad is it raining?’ He said, “Yes, but we’re almost there. We’ll make it, InshaAllah.”

InshaAllah, just in case you’ve forgotten, means ‘If Allah Wills’. We say that such-and-such a thing will happen, provided that Allah wills it. Well, Allah did not will for us to arrive before the storm began, and so we didn’t. So we got soaked instead. At first my sunglasses were acting as a windshield so I could still see, but after my scarf got soaked through, the water was just pouring down my face and into my eyes and with both my hands occupied (one holding bag, the other holding on to father) all I could do was ride through the rain with my eyes closed. It was actually fun, and I was cold for the first time in a month! Amazing!

The fun ended when I arrived at work, soaked to the skin. I got off my dad’s motorcycle and put both of my feet on the ground (squish squish) and rang the doorbell. The gate was opened, then I walked (squish squish squish squish) up to the door and knocked. The housekeeper opened it, took one shocked look at me, and started laughing. I was laughing too. It’s not everyday that you see someone dripping wet from head to toe in yards and yards of black fabric. (my scarf and jilb) I must’ve looked like a cat someone had tried to drown.

They let me in and I made a big puddle in the entryway waiting for us to figure out what to do for clothes. The lady of the house is an entire foot shorter than I am, so her clothes were ruled out. So were the clothes of my student, her nine-year old daughter. The only clothes that remotely fit me were the housekeeper’s, and I must say she has pretty good taste. She’s Afghani, so I got a huge, unbelted white shalwar (baggy pants) and a very long blue and white qameez (tunic) with no chalks and floral embroidery all the way from neck down to the hem. It was more like a dress with pants underneath than a shalwar-qameez.

I’m thinking of having something like her suit made. It was very comfy. So what if I’m not Afghani? I’m also not male and I’m not Bruce Lee, but I’m wearing one of my father’s old white kurtas left over from his university days with a pair of my little brother’s karate uniform pants. Nuts to conformity. If it’s comfortable, I’ll wear it! (Hmm, maybe that’s why my housekeeper is always laughing at me.)

My father (who got as wet as I did, but not wetter, because it’s impossible that either of us could get any wetter) didn’t have the luxury of wearing someone’s housekeeper’s clothes. He went to my sister’s office and dripped on her floor for a while, then decided to wring his clothes out in her bathroom. He was dry by the time he came back to pick me up again though, and you know what? I think he’s still wearing those same clothes now…

(Hey Yaz, does this count as tossing the football?)


Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on

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