Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Relishing hot water

There are many things that make living in a third world country difficult. Dirty air, dirty water, dirty dirt.

I'm talking about the weary, 'I can't heat up another kettle of water to pour into the big yellow bucket to take a bucket bath but my bones ache at the prospect of another lukewarm bucket bath on a cold winter day,' tired. But this blog post (No Impact Man), reminded me of the sweetness of third world living.

Of being in the dark in a warm room, playing cards by the candle light, laughing and listening to the stories that make up Afghan lives. Of finding Nutella (NUTELLA, I LOVE YOU NUTELLA!) in Shar-e-nau and enjoying each nutty chocolatey spread on the still-hot Afghan bread every morning. And oh, my favorite, that first hot shower in a warm bathroom after months and months of tepid bucket baths.

It's the relishing that makes it special. The delicate awe of treasuring each hot droplet of water. Of being ushered out of the third-floor bathroom and onto the balcony, dressed in clean pajamas, wrapped up in towels, swathed in blankets and feeling the crisp clean air meeting my scrubbed clean face.

It's a wonder that makes my heart constrict now, the beauty, the stillness of enjoying water, enjoying the clean air and knowing right then that it was a blessing.


your beecher street pakistani said...

you're baaaaack!

I am so happy to read a beautiful piece by HiK...

I know the struggles, the living can sap the energy to share your creative spirit, your fluid words, your dancing imagery... but i am happy to read this piece and see in it a piece of my RockCreek wandering, WholeFood's bulletin board reading, Tuna Casserole loving *****Jaan.

homeinkabul said...

You are so funny with your beecher street pakistani.

I think I should write a little piece about our DC fun also - that was a blessing as well.

Also, I love tuna casserole, this is true.

Kristin Ohlson said...

I like this post and get it, somewhat, because of my six weeks in Kabul. But maybe more because of the blackout in Cleveland a few years ago when we didn't have power for two or three days. Nobody was going out to movies or restaurants or anything at night; no television watching or internet surfing; instead, there would be impromptu gatherings in people's driveways as night came-- you could hear voices and see candles bobbing up and down the street. I really wished it were always like that.

Frida said...

You are back! I love your writing so much and today this is the loveliest little link I've followed.

Yes - the pleasure of my candle-lit dinner with five (female) Afghan colleagues and one fabulous Canadian friend in Ghor last week made 'no-electricity' seem like a romantic blessing.

Letters to Home In Kabul said...


I love spontaneous romantic dinners with Female colleagues/friends... all the fun and atmosphere without the complications!

That really does sound lovely.