Abez sez Assalamualaikum!

the phone line is BACK!!!!!!!!!and I have a whole file of backed-up blogs to post. Here’s number one. 🙂

It’s 1:32 am and I’m supposed to be doing my class work for tomorrow, but I’m blogging instead. Don’t ask me why I’m blogging when I don’t even have a phone line. I don’t know why. All I can say is there’s no one else awake to make me do my homework, so nya.

I could’ve fallen down and killed myself today. It would’ve been totally self-infected though not entirely my fault. I blame the giant cockroach. At work this morning, I was sitting in the chair next to one of my Irani students, helping him out with the class work, when a cockroach deemed it fit to interrupt by climbing up my student’s foot. At this point, I went, Aak! Cockroach!

In response to this outburst, my student gave me the same uncertain look that all elementary ESL students have when you use a word they don’t understand, and he began opening his dictionary to the ‘C’ section. I stood up (and here’s where I nearly fell and died) way too fast and took a step backward and pointed to his foot. “By your foot!” I said, and he looked down and realized what I was talking about.

“Ah,” he said, with the imaginary light bulb over his head turning on. He then smiled and very casually put his foot down on top of the roach, and left it there. When the class ended an hour later, and the principal/headmaster/owner of the language institute came in to speak to me, the Irani got his attention and then very politely passed him the squashed roach that he had been storing under his foot the whole time. The headmaster sheepishly accepted it and then kicked it out the door. Such is life in Pakistan.

The other way I nearly wounded myself was slightly more serious. I say slightly because I mean slightly, it wasn’t so very dangerous, but it was scary, ok? I put my fingers on the line in the dramatic life-or-death rescue of…an ornamental pigeon.

I had just done wudu and I was about to hop on the prayer rug for some Muslim Macarena (oops, I mean Maghrib) when the doorbell rang. I went to check who was at the gate. On my way there, I noticed that the guard-dog seemed pretty interested in something, but I had to check the door first. I peeked through the gate and saw one of the villagers from across the street standing there. I said, Ji? (what/yes/hunh?) And the guy said, Baji, my pigeon…

It took a few seconds for it to click. My first thought was, What about your pigeon? The second thought was, I wonder what the dog’s up to, and my third thought was, Oh my God! Save the pigeon!

I ran over to where the dog was so happily employed in gnawing on an ornamental white pigeon, and I tried to take the pigeon out of the dog’s mouth. People, let me tell you this, never try to take food from an animal, even if it’s your animal, boy does it make them mad. The dog took the pigeon back from me (just jumped up and snapped it back) and started to make off with it. I had to chase the dog and wrestle the bird back, and by that time the dog had succeeded in worrying off a bunch of its feathers…It was still alive though. I held the pigeon over my head (height is one of my few pathetic advantages over the dog) and went back to the gate with the dog following me and doing her best impersonation of a snarling kangaroo, trying to leap up and steal the bird back. And of course, the dog was furious and the man was very grateful to have his lovely white pigeon back, even without some feathers.

I’m glad that the pigeon’s story had a happy ending. Unfortunately our guard dog, being the ferocious man-eating beastie that she is, regularly catches birds and eats them in the driveway, leaving nothing but feathers. (cue rousing musical score) Where dozens of bul-bul have perished, THE PIGEON SURVIVED! Ooooh, aaah. Gripping. Dramatic. An emotional tour-de-force. I expect that Paramount Pictures will be along shortly to buy the rights to the pigeon’s harrowing tale. The End.

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