Have you ever noticed the way in which people sit and relax? Some people lean on one leg against a wall, or desk or chair. Others will sit relaxed, ”cross-legged” especially in the park or back yard. Some will stand, feet firmly planted underneath – their weight evenly distributed on both legs. Well my friends, not the Afghans. They have an entirely different concept of chillin.
Whether in the city, in their compounds, on our FOB or wherever I see them, Afghans squat. And man, do I mean squat. They sit so low to the ground that I wonder if their butts actually rest on the pavement. Kids, teenagers, adults, old people – everyone squats. Just seeing them posed in that unnatural position makes my hip joints ache. Seriously, I can’t even sit cross-legged without one of my legs going numb. It’s been that way ever since I was a kid. I’ve tried to squat like an Afghan and it’s impossible – and I’m in good shape!
And Afghans are sorta like cats when they squat – the higher up the better. Yeah, you’ll see them squatting on the sidewalks in town – but the prized locations are always higher. If there’s a boulder, jersey barrier, concrete block or ledge somewhere rest assured there’ll be an Afghan perched atop it. Reminds me of pigeons. Thankfully Afghans don’t defecate like pigeons, at least not in public.
US policy is to integrate our Coalition “partners” into operations. One of those partners is the host nation forces. Thus, we have Afghan National Army (ANA) Soldiers eating, working (really, just learning to work) and living on the FOB. It’s been hilarious the past couple of days (the ANA dudes are a relatively new addition to the base) seeing the Afghan Soldiers perched on the large boulders located at the 4-way stop sign down the street from us. There they are, wearing our old BDU’s (the dark camouflage uniforms), squatting on the rocks like a bunch of crows sunning themselves, all the while wearing what amounts to plastic slippers or shower shoes. Yeah, they hadn’t received their boots yet.
Wanna hear something hilarious? Mary Danger saw somebody – a US Soldier, spreading bird seed all over the rocks on the corner! I’m sure the irony of it will be lost on the Afghans. In fact, I’ll bet ya they gather up the bird seed and try to cook it.
Well, hope you enjoyed the portal to my life here. Next time I'll try to get you a couple pictures.