Abez sez Assalamualaikum!

It’s been a lazy and yet productive Sunday today. I woke at one in the afternoon with Aniraz poking me and saying, ‘This is your one-o’clock poke-up call!” And my brain was like ‘zzzzzzzz….pppbbb?…rrrrr!’ (that’s the sound of the brain’s engine going from sleeping (0mph) to running (60mph)) and then I realized I had work in half an hour. (commute time: 20 min)

Don’t you just love it when that happens? There’s nothing like a bit of last-minute panic to keep you in good form. I now know that I am capable of getting dressed and leaving for work in ten minutes, with the help of Aniraz of course. It’s all a very precise, not unlike the work a pit-crew does in the Indi 500 or Grand Prix.

At exactly one, Aniraz pokes me and then rushes downstairs to make me a cup of coffee while I run into the bathroom to wash my face. I get out of the bathroom, throw on the first clean jilb I lay hands on and run down the stairs (thankfully without breaking my ankle this time). Aniraz is there at the bottom of the stairs with a cup of coffee. I grab it and skull it and then quickly pull up the documents I need printed on the computer. Aniraz prints them out while I go put on my scarf. My father has, in the mean time, set lunch out on the table and I rush to the table and eat standing up, run back to the bathroom to brush my teeth, and then grab the car keys, Aniraz tightens the bolts on my tires with a pneumatic drill and then I run out to the racetrack…errr…work.

Due to the dedicated and kind service of Aniraz, I made it to work with three minutes to spare! So three cheers for my pit crew, Hip! Hip! JazakAllah! Hip! Hip! JazakAllah!

I don’t normally work on Sunday, but today was the first class with a new student who couldn’t make it yesterday and so asked to reschedule for today. I may be Muslim (maybe? Definitely!) but after living with a Fundamentalist Christian mother (hi Mommy!) for all my life, I have a mental hang-up about working in Sundays. I almost said no to rescheduling on Sunday because my brain was like, ‘Nope, no work on Sunday. Gotta keep the Sabbath holy, you know.’ Then the other part of my brain (the one that makes sense) said, ‘Hey moron, your Sabbath is on Friday.’

So today I got a new student, and lost one at the same time. My oldest student (not in age, but duration of study) is discontinuing lessons and I’m actually rather sad. He was the most advanced, and we got to read all kinds of great things and have interesting discussions about politics and stuff. You can’t really do that with a student who is only intermediate, because although their vocabulary is pretty good for an ESL student, it’s not broad enough to include the words for concepts like duplicity, the theory of Mutually Assured Destruction and imperialism. It’s not that they don’t know them in their own languages, it’s just that the conversation is limited to the vocabulary they have in English.

I have that same problem speaking Urdu. Though my brain may be grown-up (or a least masquerading as an adult) my tongue in Urdu is still a kid’s tongue. I lived in Pakistan from when I was ten to when I was thirteen, and that’s when I learned Urdu, and my vocabulary is still stuck there. I can carry on a simple conversation, but my vocabulary is so limited that when it comes down to talking politics or religion or philosophy, I either call my dad in for translation or become so frustrated that I give up and start talking about the weather instead. You know, just last week I learned the Urdu words for repair, coalition, and con-artistry. (marammat, mahaz, nausarbaazi) Before that I would’ve said sahih karna, jamaat and chor. (correct, gathering, thief) They’re not really the same you know. You can repair a car, but not necessarily correct it.

What else is up? I dunno. Oh yeah, once I had my nose knocked crooked by a flying loaf of frozen raisin bread. My big brother and I were sword fighting in the kitchen. My sword was the knife sharpener (it’s a long, dull piece of stone with a handle, I wouldn’t DREAM of taking a knife to either of my brothers, oh no…mwahahaaaa) and his sword was a loaf of raisin bread from the deep freezer. (En guarde! Thrust! Parry! Ouch, Touché!) So we were sword fighting in the kitchen, which is fairly routine in my house, and then he lifted the bread above his head and started whipping it around in the air over his head like a battle axe. Well, the kitchen wasn’t very big, or maybe the bread wasn’t very small, but I got hit in the nose with a loaf of bread that was harder than a rock.

And the moral of this story?

Friends don’t let brothers wield raisin bread. Something like that anyway.

Leave a Reply

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: