Okay, so I thought I would share yet another story from my time in Pakistan. Pakistan was my first real overseas travel. (Canada does not count.) It was just me and Howard. At that time, Howard was the only man in my life. . . Howard was my kitty. It pains me to admit it, but I was a walking stereotype: single, bitchy, headed toward 30, and then (naturally) I adopted a cat that I swore thought it was people.
It is somewhat difficult to describe Peshawar, Pakistan to you guys. I'm pretty sure the smell is technically considered a form of WMD, only it's the kind that kills you slowly. (Seriously, that shit can go through walls!! Nobody was safe!) I was given a huge house - even though it was just me and Howie - the thing had 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms (I know, don't ask.....I'll just leave it at, you need them).
So anyway, we settle in okay (it was touch and go there for a while. I walked out on my balcony to see the view: It overlooked a family of 'Fugees. They used to keep chickens in their "house" of mud and wash their laundry in a bowl then hang the clothes on the mud fence. I was really tempted to offer them my washer, but then the smell wafted up, and my short-lived jaunt into caring about others and cultural sensitivity quickly ended. ) and then not long after I arrived, we had my first 'Eid. Due to the timing of my arrival it was the dreaded "little Eid" where they slaughter the goat or sheep for the feast.
It was like living in hell.
Picture what you believe to be what the end of the world would look like, aka Judgement Day (although frankly, with me, every day is a judgey day), but with the added joy of the smells of dead animals. Pesh had open sewers that ran alongside the roads and they were FILLED with entrails. There were these HUGE (and I do mean HUGE) crows that had big-ass gray heads...naturally, they would pick up said entrails. So you'd be driving along the road and pieces of dead animal would hit your windshield. EVERYONE found religion on this holiday!!
We were all praying for it to end.
So anyway, I was not ready to face anything that would have been attached to those entrails. So I had this gardener, Ali. He kinda looked like a scary, skinny version of Santa (only not so much jolly, more like crabby) - so I asked him where I could buy some chicken - you know, get the recommendation from the locals - it's what all the travel books recommend!! Ever-so-helpful, my gardener offered to get the chicken for me. Ever-so-lazy, I totally took him up on it. Later that night, my doorbell rings and it is the gardener holding a LIVE CHICKEN upside down by the feet.
Ali: Memsahib (gesturing toward me with the chicken)
me: WHAT'S THAT??
Ali: Chicken, Memsahib.
me: I know it is a chicken, but WHY?
Ali: Chicken..you say you want fresh chicken?? Here is chicken.
Me: Not THAT fresh!
Ali: (annoyed, gestures with chicken)
Ali: (sighs in annoyance) You want me to kill for you? I pluck.
So remember how I mentioned that I seriously hate birds?? Honestly, can't stand them..flying rodents! They freak me out - and I totally hated our chickens when I lived on the farm growing up. They used to peck at me when I went to collect the eggs. So I quickly learned that if I brought an egg with me, and threw it on the ground, they would all leave their nests to eat it and you could grab the eggs if you moved quickly! -- Oh yes, you heard me...the chickens would eat their own. It was like Silence of the Chickens! -- So anyway, I SWEAR TO YOU - at this point, the chicken stopped flapping and just looked at me...
I named him Fred.
Fred lived in my yard for a few weeks until I couldn't take it anymore - Fred was not potty trained. I told the gardener to take him home. I never heard from Fred again. I can only assume he is living happily as a free range chicken in Ali's yard...Kinda like the farm where Wilbur and Charlotte lived. I'm sure he's happy.
A little while after that, Ali came back with some chicken wrapped in butcher paper....just like I asked for in the first place!!!
The Very Best Day
5 hours ago