by Nathan Hamm on 1/25/2005 · 5 comments

As the old saying goes: “Kabul be zaar bashad, be barf neh”

Like I’d actually know this. But the “barf” at least lets me know that the line is in a Persian dialect. I ripped it off from Roya, who lets us know that Kabul is in for some snow the next few days.

And really, I only bother to bring it up because I’m endlessly amused that barf means snow. Plus, I love talking about washing my dishes and clothes in barf when I was in the Peace Corps. Also, I’m stranded at home today under travel embargo refusing to go to work because of our snow. My train ripped down 1000 feet of wire and tore down an I-beam last night (the wire ripping stuff off the top of the train made some cool noises), leaving me stranded 300 yards from my station last night. Like a good worker bee, I made the trek to the station down the icy and snowy hill only to find the trains cancelled rather than delayed (which is what the news had been saying). I figured it’d be better to just throw in the towel, blog, and work on stuff around the house all day.

Maybe I should kill a snowman to vent my frustrations.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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roya January 25, 2005 at 2:45 pm

Hi – u mean because in the transliteration barf looks/sounds like the English word puke? Hmm … lol. It’s not pronounced like that in Dari. It’s not a long ‘a’. I love Sanjar’s snowman photo too!

Nathan Hamm January 25, 2005 at 3:45 pm

Exactly. Perhaps this requires some back-story. After I’d been in Uzbekistan for just a couple days, we headed to the Chirchik bazaar to see the kind of places we’d be doing our shopping the next few years. I think we had assignments to buy certain things. Seeing something called “barf” for the first time is one of those cherished memories of Peace Corps Volunteers in Central Asia. Plus, it’s Persian meaning is so far from what it sounds like in English that I have yet to find an English speaker that doesn’t find this hilarious.

It’s a great line of products too. I used all kinds of that stuff.

roya January 25, 2005 at 10:45 pm

I see – lol. The stuff that was supposed to whiten your clothes in Afghanistan actually turned it blue. I’m amazed that you can find all the latest shampoos but detergent is just horrible.

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