Matt W Cook

writer.former fundamentalist.christianly fellow

Month: September, 2005

Twist and shout

A day in the life of a Canadian in Pakistan. Hot.

They tell me it’s unseasonable hot these days. I believe them. September is the month in which it’s supposed to begin to cool down, but I think that it’s getting warmer. It’s all good though, our little house has good air flow and whatnot.

The Bazaar is a really neat place. Once you go there enough times you can always tell where certain people will be. My buddy Muhammad and his buddy Muhammad are always by the big ‘Allah’ sign in the center of town. I always know who I’ll run into in the covered Bazaar a few streets away, even though I can’t pronounce or remember their names. Yep, it looks like this town is becoming my town. All is good.

So the night of the 12th was a pretty special night for Muslims here. It was a holiday called Shab-e-barat. This night is the Anniversary of the night that Muhammad was taken up from Jerusalem to heaven to meet God and the prophets of old. So the Muslims here stayed up all night long praying and fasting. Our land-lady tells us that this is the night that God ordains all that will happen throughout the next year. Very interesting. School was closed the next day to allow the teachers to rest up.

Internet is still unreliable, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. It seems to work great first thing in the morning, that’s about 7-8pm Canada time. Maybe we’ll see you on MSN!

Here’s a little Urdu lesson just in case you find yourself in need of potatoes while wandering around Pakistan.
You approach the Potato walla and say: Assalamu Alaikum, Bhai saab (Hey there bro)
Potato walla: Wa’ Alaikum Assalam, aap kya hal hai?
(Hey there, how ya doin’?)
You: Mein teek hun, mujhe aloo chahiye
(I’m fine, I need potato)
Potato walla: Acha, kittnay kilo?
(Giddiup, how many kilos?)
You: Sirf adha kilo
(just half a kilo)
Potato walla: Acha, yeh dus rupaay
(giddiup, that’s ten Rupees)
You: Yeh lijie, shukria
(Here ya go, thanks)

Cook out

Plasmodium falciparum

It started with a small hole in the mosquito net. A single mosquito flew in. This mosquito was a host to this parasite. At the bug plunged it’s little straw thingy into my sleeping body, the parasite-ridden saliva dripped into my blood stream. The little critters inside made their way to my liver, where they hung out until they felt they were ready to begin the hostile take-over of my red blood cells. It started out as a simply pain in the neck, literally. After that the pain moved up to the back of my head and I started to get a nasty fever and general malaise. Mr. doctor diagnosed my with malaria and gave me many a pill. It took a good week before I felt normal and I’ve lost a lot of weight (though I don’t think that’s a bad thing).

All better now, and I’ve got the Internet in my house. I’ll be blogging more often now. Talk to ya later!

Cook out

See the purple stuff? That’s malaria eating my red blood cells.

What became of the mighty tree


…they heard an ominous sound coming from below. It sounded strangely like a rusty brass-chainsaw starting up and digging into some wood. Shan had a momentary lapse of insight and commanded Barb-John to look down the trunk to find out what the noise was. But of course, dear Barb-John was deaf as a wet stump, so Shan had to wave for him to look.
Unfotunately, this also received no attention.
Fortunately, Shan possessed his trusty “Get Barb-John’s Attention” stick (which was basically a cattle prod that had a +1 electrical damage added on to its 1d6 base damage).
Unfortunately this caused Barb-John to tumble out of the tree.
Fortunately, Barb-John was wearing a parachute at the time.
Unfortunately, he lacked the intellectual fortitude to pull the rip-chord.
Fortunately, there was a large wagon full of freshly harvested cotton-balls below him.
Unfortunately, there was a nasty, rusty pitchfork sticking in said wagon.
Fortunately, he missed the pitchfork.
Unfortunately, he also missed the wagon.
And so Barb-John landed with a mighty mixture of a thud and a splat. What became of the rat, you may ask? The dear rat, it seems, had not only his own parachute but also the very intellectual fortitude that Barb-John lacked to pull the rip-chord, so he landed softly and was quickly reunited with his rather incapacitated and possibly dead fellow-sidekick.