Buying Meat from the Afghans

I am with two other tourists at a village market in Afghanistan, buying a slaughtered animal for a feast. I bring up the rear with my dad’s old deer rifle slung over my shoulder, imitating the other men. Everyone is twitchy about even the suggestion of an insult, but who knows what constitutes an insult? Fortunately, the sky doesn’t mind having guns pointed in its direction.

Our guide develops a sudden stammer. Oh great, I mutter. He leads us down alleys so narrow we each have to turn sideways — like cattle through a chute. The guy in front has the meat; we just need to get back to our vehicle. The vegetables that were thrown in for free as an incentive to buy mysteriously disappear, and I want to go find them, but the guide says no, forget it, keep moving. I meet each bearded glower with my own, trying to remember from high school how to say Don’t Fuck With Me in body language.

Night falls with appalling speed. We climb a steep bank to the road, and the guy with the meat trips and scatters it in the grass and dirt. We fumble for it in the dark, exclaiming over each little wet cube, ready for a gritty stew.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

4 Comments


  1. I meet each bearded glower with my own, trying to remember from high school how to say Don’t Fuck With Me in body language.

    I guess we did learn something in high school, eh? But luckily we managed to forget it again.

    Reply

  2. Dave, your frightful dream reminds me so much of something that could be a scene right out of a non-fiction book that I’m reading: “The Horse that Leaps Through Clouds” (http://horsethatleaps.com/) So how come I’m not the one having any dreams based in this part of the world?!

    Reply

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