I have mentioned before that my chaikidor, Mirwais, buys most of my groceries for me in the bazaar. We have a good system going. He can understand my writing and my pictures, and most of the time, he comes back with what I asked for. Since creme and cabbage are spelled very similar in dari, I have received creme when I wanted cabbage and vice versa but that is rare. Anyways, this week I saw some bok choy in the bazaar as we were driving through and thought it might be fun to mix up our menus with a bok choy dish. The trouble is I wasn’t sure what it was called in Dari. I thought it might be called cabbage from China so I decided to go with that.
As usual, I went through my list with Mirwais. I wanted a kilo of strawberries, a box of kiwi, 6 bananas, and then my bok choy. He wasn’t quite sure what it is was so I drew him a picture. Looking at my picture, he thought I was talking about pineapple. I nixed that idea. Speaking in Dari, I tried to explain that it was like cabbage but also like lettuce. Mirwais then suggested I might be talking about foreigner lettuce (romaine lettuce) but I countered with boy choy having more white. With this, I sent him off and about 30 minutes later, I had bok choy which I now know is lettuce from China. Hopefully today, we will have a meal with bok choy.
Communicating in any language is difficult, let alone communicating in a second language. It takes time and patience. It takes work. This time it was about produce but sometimes it is about life issues or someone wanting something from me but I am not sure what it is. It is easy to get frustrated and give up or just say yes even if I don’t know what I am saying yes to. This experience reminded me to keep at it. When I am having conversations with my neighbor or another local friend, I might need to be creative in how I explain things, but it can be done. It also motivates me to keep working on my vocabulary and to continue practicing on my language skills. Communicating in Dari is challenging for me, but my prayer is that God will use what language I have to His glory.
FYI in the list above here are the items.
- Tut e zamin is strawberries which are now in season. Translated it means berries from the ground. They were 150 afs which translates to $3 per kilo.
- Kiwi is kiwi. I was able to get a whole box like you would get at Cosco or Sams for 110 afs which is just over 2 dollars.
- Kiela is bananas. It comes to about 10 afs /banana which is about 20 cents.
- Lastly is my bok choy which was about 50 afs or one dollar.
By the way, the strawberries were delicious. Last night I made a fruit salsa with the fruit I had bought to go with some homemade cinnamon chips from leftover tortillas.