Thursday, September 10, 2009

Memories.....

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.

me: *GASP!*

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)

Me: I....what.....I...

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!!!

What?

22 comments:

Amanda said...

Oh I could not do that. I am a spoiled American Princess. It might be a good weight loss plan though.

CarrieAnn said...

This is why I don't leave North Carolina.

CarrieAnn said...

Oh, and also why I am a vegetarian. Chickens are gross!

Travel & Dive Girl said...

I grew up on a farm with freakin chickens too and used to do the same thing with the eggs! Ughh - those damn nasty disease ridden rodents were horrible and I still have nightmares when I see live ones running around. I find pleasure in ordering a bucket of chicken from KFC...

I hate goats too - they make me angry...don't ask me why, they just do.

Hit 40 said...

OMG!!!!! Did you eat FRED!!! OMG OMG!!!! Your killing me.

I started reading thinking what ever... Michel probably cut herself with a freaking envelop today....

Little Eid is the grossest culture shock kinda thing that I have ever heard. Between killing your relunctant pet and flying entrails falling on you!!! OMG!!!

I am glad that I mainly stay in Ohio with my Panera down the street and Kroger with freshly packed meat from some disgusting slaughter house in another state...

or is it Pakistan??

Fragrant Liar said...

So you ended up getting some chick filet after all, eh, Memsahib? And you're complaining about the service or what? I mean, Peshfresh poultry, at your doorstep? Sheesh. You should go back to beheading and plucking yourself, you spoiled American.

A Mom on Spin said...

Well, I'm not sure I will ever eat chicken again!

AmyK said...

We had neighbors from Pakistan for the past 2 years, when we lived in Lansing, Mi. Being a University town it is quite diverse and Dad taught at the University. The teenage son graduated and went into our Air Force. Everyone was proud... Then the son came home after about 2 months. Big ??? about why? The next thing we know the family ( Dad, Mom and sister and little brother) is moving across town, but they sent the son back to Pakistan to live with an Uncle. You have to wonder, just how bad did he screw up that this was necessary?

You are a brave woman.

Beth said...

Who names a chicken Fred? Aren't chickens girls? Unless it was a rooster, her name probably should have been Frederica.

Was your fresh chicken tasty?

otin said...

If I have to turn on my wipers because of falling guts, then it is time for the good old U.S. of A! I hate birds also(Seriously) If I go to someones house and they have a parrot, if it is not caged, I will not go in!!

rxBambi said...

Ditto to Otin (OMG did I just say that??) But falling entrails will totally make me run and hide! Good God woman, He really did smite you, didn't He??

Reddirt Woman said...

My niece and her family live in the country in Texas. I went down to visit and as she was showing me around, she said she had to show me her new calf. She had even named him... I told her you don't name what you are going to eat.... She said, "I named him Hamburger".

She also had a white turkey she named the hen Christmas so I'm used to people naming critters.

Great story...

Anonymous said...

I think that Fred is dead, when he went away for a while he came back wrapped in paper.

Gaston Studio said...

I'm just going to pretend you named her Fred as a short version of Fredericka; you know, like Sam for Samantha.

Definitely think the falling entrails was your first smoting incident; kind of the Pakistani version of Chicken Little.

blognut said...

OMG! You did not EAT Fred!

What kind of monster are you?

And entrails? Puke!

CK Lunchbox said...

I grew up on a farm and we butchered 25 - 50 chickens at a time.

No fair. You get to have all the fun.

♥ Braja said...

I'm going to swear.
That was fucking hilarious.
WHAT?? Sometimes the f word WORKS.
So much of that I could smell and see.
Only I don't eat meat.
And wouldn't ask a Pakistani to look after an animal.
Especially at Eid.
Or ever.
Ever.
No.

Susan said...

You have my utmost respect and admiration. You got Braja to say fuck.

Suzy said...

You think chickens make a lot of poop? Try a duck.

McGillicutty said...

Note to self, stay the hell away from Pakistan and chickens.
I hate all that unclean stinky stuff out there in far flung places that you see on The Amazing Race! Bleeuugghhhh!!!

Captain Dumbass said...

Hey, that reminds me of... did Braja just say 'fuck?'

Medora said...

My current teacher is Pakistani. He is a communist and has made it clear that he does not like Americans all that much. Whatever. It's my last class ever, so I'm just going to suck it up and get through it.