Wednesday, April 1, 2009

An April Fool

Who says the Afghans don't have a sense of humor? When I went for my tea fix this afternoon in the translators' office, I scanned their board for the latest news, interpreted from various Afghan Dari/Pashto websites. As I was reading, one of the translators motioned me over to look at his computer screen.

A Dari language news site was displayed and as usual, he started interpreting, in a serious, somber tone, what the website was reporting. He said the news just came in that there was a coup in Pakistan, and that the Pakistani president was under house arrest! There were two pictures of sinister looking men, and I asked who they were. He stated that one of the men was the new president, the leader of the coup, and the other was a Talib supporter of the new president. Wow!

This was huge! He and the three other translators proceeded to tell me about what the ramifications would be to Afghanistan and the US. I felt unsettled because I know the situation in Pakistan is tenuous, and the Afghans and Pakistanis, I've come to find out, don't much care for each other. As this late 50 year-old translator continued to explain the news, I wondered whether I should go look for a TV, so I could catch the latest reporting of this incredible coup.

This speculative discussion went on for a few minutes until, with a serious voice, my friend scrolled down the screen, pointed and said, "See here, in Dari it says, 'April Fool's'!" I looked around the room puzzled, forgetting that today was April 1st, I knew I'd been had. What did we do? We laughed! Hard! It was funny. These old coot friends got the best of me. So we drank our tea, and I reminded them how they have been corrupted by America, resorting to playing out an April Fools joke on an unsuspecting fool.

I think they may have played out this scenario many times today to unsuspecting visitors, I'll find out tomorrow. It is certainly a plausible scenario, and one I fell hook line and sinker for! Gotta love em! I will miss them.

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