Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Yipee, I had a real Kurdish conversation

I had the most unexpected visit today. I was heading out to the bazaar to go shopping. About 5 minutes from home (after passing a cow rummaging through the garage), I saw a mother sitting by the side of the road with her baby. I stopped to ask whether i could take their photo.

As I was speaking to her, an older woman came out of the house across the street. She walked over to us and asked me the usual questions-"where are you from etc". Then she asked if I would like to come in for tea. Scary moment, then my latent impulsiveness kicked in and I said -"bulay- yes". So we went in and met another woman. They seemed very thrilled that I was coming to have tea with them. (As it turned out I was the only one who had tea- but that was OK). We proceded to have a real conversation. All about children and where I live and what I work at. The grandmother told me that 3 of her children had been killed in 1988  in the chemical bombingt in Halabja. Of course there was a lot I did not get, but that was OK with me and them. We just worked at it and understood what we could. It was a little disconcerting when the husband who obviously did not know I was there came from the upstairs in his boxers and undershirt. But he seemed to take it into his stride and quickly went to get dressed. Then he took a photo of all us- 3 generations and me.

Eventually, I somehow told them that I needed to go shopping and they let me depart. On my way home from the bazaar I saw this row of men sitting on the wall beside the main road. They are street cleaners who  work throughout the city with a broom, shovel and a wheelie bin. Usually they wear a scarf tightly wrapped over their face to protect from the dust and car exhaust. I think of them as the invisible people as most people do not even acknowledge their presence (and essential work). Here they seemed to be taking a break and relished the thought that I wanted to take their photo. They thanked me greatly when I showed it to them.

1 comment:

  1. great that all your Kurdish practice is being put to good use.