So there I was mid tinkle and groggy when the door rattled and suddenly Mr. Burns (now the size of a fat kitten on steroids) ran between my bent legs and dangerously close to my exposed/bare naughty bits hovering above the trough. Being half asleep it took approximately 1.5 seconds for realization/panic to set in and then, (quite shamed to admit), I screamed/yelled/jumped as directionally challenged Mr. Burns scampered in circles (and across my foot 3 times) attempting to exit the 2ft./2ft squat (which is small enough to begin with and certainly not enough room for me and an over grown rat with sharp teeth and a host of disgusting diseases) the same way he entered, unable to execute the maneuver (his fatness getting in the way), Mr. Burns bumped his head against the door, and was momentarily stunned, this provided the perfect opportunity for me to kick him (it seems like a good idea at the time) however the spastic flinging of my right foot only dislodged my sandal and caused Mr. Burns to ran back between my legs (PANIC!) and into the trough, where his fatness (only his head/shoulders made it into the hole) once again prevented him from escaping the evil white goddess (namely, me, who was now hopping on one foot because I wasn’t coordinated enough to place the sandal back on.) threatening him with incoherent yells (which human ears would have translated into: BLOODYF__KINGHELLRATPIECEOFSHITNASSTYNESSIMGOINGTOKILL YOUF__KRAT!!)  

In between yelling/hopping/kicking I managed to un-hinge the door, my pants still down (which made hopping/kicking all the more funny/difficult) and at that precise moment, my host sister looked out her window, (alerted no doubt by my yells) to see me standing, looking for all the world (I like to think) like a modern day Venus rising from the depths of the squat, my hair tossed about, my arms holding the door completely open, curse words issuing forth (I’m sure my host sister never thought I would utter, or even know how to utter such choice words), and my dreadful white skin glowing against the darkness/light.  Unfortunately this non-contextualized display of yelling and lack of trousers caused my host sister to assume I had been molested by a hideous monster from the depths of hell (which is pretty damm close to what actually happened considering the proximity of Mr. Burns to my day glow white battery) which promptly caused her to collapse on the bed in a state of pure fright/shock and crying. In the 10 second from when I yelled at Mr. Burns to when I flung the door open to announce  my surprise to the entire ISM hood, my host mom (bless her heart, who I have never seen act or do anything in a manner that can be considered swift) made it from a reclining position on the divan watching a Turkish soap, out the front door, down the steps, across the path and arrived at the squat with a stick, (ready to throw down) and a look that would have stopped a raging bull and made it whimper.  What my host mom lacks in tact (she still calls me fat and lazy) she makes up for in a staunch and never failing concern for my well being and safety; when it comes down to it, you don’t mess with a mad xanim who thinks someone/thing has messed with her American (no matter how fat lazy, silly or otherwise that American (me) might be.)   

Mr. Burns flew out the squat door, and I can say with confidence he was scared sh-tless.  Seeing as the situation was bit stressful, I of course forgot all my wretched Azeri skills, but caught myself before I muttered ‘pomidor’ with only the ‘pom’ sound escaping from my lips (that’s for Donny) giving me enough time to remember the words for “BIG RAT!!!!’ which I tried to say correctly to my host mom, in-between snorting (yes, snorting) with laughter, gesturing with my left hand and trying to adjust my clothing (so as to not further scandalize myself).  I’m not sure if at that moment I was able to convey that Mr. Burns was actually inside the squat (which would offer context to my display of skin/yelling) however, my host mom, once she was convinced of my safety (my hysterical laughter helped) actually laughed, rolled her eyes, and ‘tisked’ me (to say wordlessly: “What is this crazy, incompetent, American girl doing in my house?  We were almost convinced she was an adult and then a rat?  A rat?  Seriously, baby, much worse can happen.  And you look pretty damm funny!) 

Now that the worst was over, I proceeded into the house to begin the task of calming poor host sister down, who was woefully confused by the laughter (mine much louder) of her mom and I.  There was 10 min of talking in Azeri/English/Gesturing and drinking of water and things had calmed down.  Host mom went back to Turkish Soaps, host sister laid back down, and I slinked back to my room, very embarrassed and trying (unsuccessfully) to not laugh…30 min later in an attempt to stop giggling, I tried to think of sad things and suddenly realized that I had thoughtlessly gulped the glass of dirty water host mom handed me.  This unpleasant thought was sobering enough to put a lid on the laughter and make me realize that I would quite likely be taking more than a few trips back to the squat the next day, and could in a few hours time be dreadfully sick with a water bourn disease.  And then, I just laughed even more, which means I slept very little and woke up today with a tummy ache and found a stalwart sick to be my companion, because I’m under the false illusion that a stick could possibly be a good weapon against a ROUS.

The particular reason…

March 14, 2008

…I love rain in the ‘Baijan.

 I can walk through town, and the intelligent male individuals, who have perfected the art of holding up door posts/walls/trees (AKA loafing about) don’t yell at me because they have migrated their particular talent for doing nothing indoors, and if they do happen to yell, I cant hear it, which makes my walks/wanders 200% more enjoyable and reduces my stress level by the same amount.

from my favorite author

March 12, 2008

“You don’t HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul; you HAVE a body.” C. S. Lewis

or actually use their money to help the problem instead of perpetuating it?

blast cut ‘n paste the link

deep thoughts (?)

March 11, 2008

Living in general is enough fodder to fill a million books, blogs, letters, movies, sketchbooks, journals, and photographs. In fact, I think the struggle for me at least is deciding what parts of life I want to express, because, when expressed, (in any form) the experiences, or whatever, become more a part of memories and history and me. There are certain things, when they happen, that you’d rather forget and things that, when they are done and over, you feebly try and remember exactly as they occurred so that you can know and believe that life is purposeful and wonderful.

And that brings the present in front of me now. I don’t know what to write. I don’t know how to express what I think and what is occurring NOW in AZ and in me and the people I interact with. Maybe it’s not necessary to accurately capture the present; hindsight is 20/20 so I think that at some point in time when I’m at rest, I will understand more accurately what is occurring now?

Do I want to look back (which, no matter how hard I try not to, I will, and probably quiet frequently) and see that I wrote about horney chickens and puking in taxies? (the details of that story may or may not make their way to these public pages) Maybe I do. Maybe it’s all I can write about, maybe it’s hard to share with anyone what I truly think, so I write about the silly and over-the-top and strange and funny and odd because that’s all I can process now.

Weakness? Laziness? I don’t know. I just had the awful shock of realizing that I had been here for 9 months and don’t have single expressed piece (art, letter, photograph) that reflects any sort of personal reflection/processing/growth. I know things have changed (its life after all; change is one amazing fact of life) but I have an annoying desire for bench marks and tangible evidence of change.

So then I write things such as this, which is a tangled page of thoughts and paragraphs that may or may not have any logical connection to each other.

After all that, all I can think of to write is:

I had a truly beautiful walk through falling snow (that is a cliché somewhere, but when I went out for a walk at night in an AZ snow fall, I wasn’t expecting it to be truly beautiful, so that wipes the cliché away) and found a snowman, (built across from the police station) with a stick placed in the correct place so as to leave no doubt as to the snowman’s gender or current level of desire.
Somehow, I suppose that sums up my life here, a mixture of the beautiful and dirty, the profound and profane. Yea(?) Or if one wanted or tried they could look deeper and extract a meaning about the world and life and humans and how flawed everything is….maybe? I doubt the snow would have seemed as lovely or the woody snowman as funny if they each had not had the other to contrast themselves.

One of the most beautiful nights I have ever been in and a snowman with wood.


March 6, 2008

The views, ideas, and positions contained herein are solely those of the author(s), and do not in any way reflect the positions of nor carry approval from the United States Government, the U.S. Peace Corps, or their members or leadership. This blog is provided “as-is” for entertainment purposes only, and no warranty is expressed or implied as to its fitness or suitability for any given purpose or application. By commenting on or otherwise contributing to this blog, contributors acknowledge that they and they alone are responsible for the content of their contributions, and that neither nor MCMacDonald, as Service Providers as defined in the Communications Decency Act, are responsible nor liable for the actions of their users.”

Jellied Wasps

I had noticed several dark chunks floating around in the amber colored sugary delight, but assumed they were cloves. And then it happened, a crunchy bit, a bitter taste…and the horror of realizing the dark bits were not cloves but Wasps!!(Or possibly some other flying Azeri insect of doom) I gagged and ran to the trash, but my stupid body (again) wouldn’t puke on command (at this point, 7 months in, I’m convinced my body is waging war against me and would like nothing better then to make me miserable for the next 2 years by refusing to vomit nasssty (that’s for Ds and Siolo) substances that accidentally go down) I was left standing helpless, with dreadful images of evil wasp legs clinging to the insides of my stomach. All of this wouldn’t be so bad, (considering my past tussle with worms) other than upon digging around in the mass of jellied figs on my plate, I discovered damm near an entire hive (complete with more wasps, larva, legs, and wings) floating in suspended animation on the plate. Unfortunately, I had told my host mom that I really liked the jelly (which I did, minus the flying insects) and the next morning she sat me down and commanded me to eat a plate of jelly. It was hard to not eat it when she was watching (I knew there were wasp body parts lurking that had cleverly disguised themselves as cloves) so I tried not to gage and only eat a pin size dollop which only drew attention to the fact that I wasn’t scoping massive quantities of jelly into my mouth with wild abandon, which then offended my host mom, and frustrated me because I don’t know how to say: “I cant eat wasps!!” So to avoid a repeat situation all together, I stopped eating breakfast (for 2 weeks) until the jelly was gone, because every time I’d see a dish of the jellied figs all I could think about was Wasp legs flossing my teeth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Horney Chickens

The chickens are fascinating, really, the amount that they squawk, mate (almost as frequently as the ROUS’s), run about, squirt (on my shoes), and attack, leads me to believe they lead very busy, if not easy lives. Since my first initial accidental observation of the chickens mating, I have been privileged to witness on no less than 5 occasions, the naughty chickens horney shenanigans. I find this annoyingly hysterical and virtually impossible to avoid/ignore, since they literally wait until I’m looking out the window, or walking to work to start up a scene complete with blood curdling clucking, wing flapping and hopping. At some point in time I shall become scarred for life, but for now, it still sends me into peals of laughter. When considered, I’m sure that admitting that chickens mating is funny, not only discredits myself, but also speaks to some long buried awful sense of humor and paints me to have the maturity level of a 10 year old. I guess, I’m alight with that since I’m making it very public, and that on most occasions, if not laughing at the absurd Chicken Porn, I’d be crying in dismay at how strange my life is

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