02 September 2011

Dating in Afghanistan


A month traveling here and I'm yet to speak with a female. Afghanistan, you are officially the worst place to date in the world. While I occasionally see high heels walking beneath an Afghan Burqa, such titillating observances are mere foot play. Or the errant female wearing the immodest hijab? As you pass me on the street in your revealing clothing, pulchritude from eyebrow to chin visible, I catch myself staring, nearly stumbling into open sewer. But I want to talk to you.

100's of pictures, my only one hiding the rare female;
and wearing a hijab nevertheless
Or last night, the highlight of my trip. Sitting with my friend in Central Restaurant, you and your sister show up wearing stimulating head scarfs. Your father and mother choose a corner booth, three tables down. Yet in patrimonial oversight, or perhaps female connivance, he chooses the hidden side of the booth--leaving you three visible. We make eye contact. But then a group of male diners arrive, choosing to eat cross legged at a dais adjacent to you. Hanging a prayer rug from the rafters, your father obscures their view of you. But still, from my lucky viewing corridor, I can see you. We make eye contact. But alas, your father, deciding the prayer rug is insufficient protection from the dais, changes booths midway through dinner. Though I find by leaning forward and pouring tea into my friend's cup, I can peer around the pillar on my right and into your new booth. But what's this! Your father's the visible one now. My tea pouring contortion is for naught.

Dinner ends, your family rises. Leaving, you look over your right shoulder. We make eye contact. And you're gone.

Inquiring with a male Afghan afterwards, he tells me courtship is a looking affair. In that case, I suppose in those three glances, we accomplished 6 drinks spread over a couple bars and a few hours of playful banter, me mentioning a female friend to keep you guessing and me reading your palm to accustom you to my touch. So far so good. Though in our visual interaction, I'm left with a problem: unless you're telepathic or the literate 15% of Afghan women, the only way to acquire your number is if we speak. What's to be done? Then again, calling you is taboo. Never mind. I stand by my original assessment.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

why are you wearing overalls?

Anonymous said...

i forgot to share this link, re: constraints on afghan females and cultural loopholes: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/world/asia/21gender.html

i'm at sac airport with adam, paying for wireless like a baller. i hastily planned a trip to portland to visit my good buddy over the long weekend. stay very safe on the last leg of your afg trip-please touch base when you get to your next destination (dubai?) 1, 2, 3, 4.

-JC

Anda said...

Incredible article. I had no idea. I'll ask around.