M and I painted all day today. The master bedroom in our house had - no lie - flesh colored walls. And ceiling. So when you're laying in bed, it feels like you're in some kind of fleshy tupperware box with the fleshy lid on. It was one of the very first things I said I would remedy when we moved here more than a year ago. We just got around to it today, and we've been painting all weekend. Flesh colored walls need a lot of coats of paint, apparently.
So we were exhausted, and we had to run to Lowe's for some more paint supplies. We decided we'd pick up some dinner on the way but couldn't settle on where to eat. Taco Bell? Pizza?Subway has that $5 deal! Somehow we ended up at McDonald's. We NEVER eat at McDonald's. I can remember eating at McDonald's only one time with M before we were married, and one time after. We sometimes stop there to pick up some chicken nuggets for the baby on road trips, but M never eats there. We only ate there tonight because it was the closest restaurant to Lowe's.
(And this is not to say that we are snobs about where we eat or anything. Our most common eat-out destination is Taco Bell, followed closely by the Costco Food Court, so it's not like we're food connoisseurs or anything. I think we just saw Super Size Me one too many times.)
As we walk into the rarely-visited McDonald's, we saw the strangest thing. The restaurant was literally FULL of desis. Desis at almost every table, and all wearing the same red baseball cap.
Of course we couldn't help ourselves but stare. The group was made up of maybe 20 or more young desi boys, with a handful of older desi men. I couldn't tell what kind of desi they were, but I'm not usually very good with that kind of identification anyway. M wasn't sure either.
Eventually, through eavesdropping, I overheard an American woman talking to a group of one of the boys say "If they think they're going to eat Pakistani every day...." and I told M about it. I suggested that he ask someone from the group where they were from, and eventually he did. Turns out they're from Pakistan, Balochistan and Sindh, and had just arrived today. (Interesting side note: Blogger thinks Balochistan is not a real word.)
They're part of some student exchange program, run by USAid. These kids had undergone some kind of pre-departure training, and now they'll spend two weeks here in America going to different lectures, attending some workshops, even getting a tour of places like the state department.
M seemed very happy to speak for so long to another adult male in Urdu. He answered questions about himself too, and about me. When one of the men he was talking to asked if *I* had been to Pakistan, I answered "Jee" meaning yes. The man seemed surprised and asked if I understood Urdu, to which I responded "thora sa" - a little. The crowd went wild, and these are words that wowed people back in 2004! Old tricks are still crowd-pleasers, I guess.
Anyway, after having such a strange dinner, and hearing about such and interesting program, all I could think about was telling you guys! M even covertly took pictures of them with his cell phone so I could show you guys!
I wonder what you have to do to be a part of this program. I think I'm uniquely suited to showing a bunch of Pakistani kids around town. At the very least, I wouldn't take them to McDonald's on Day 1. I wonder if they'd discussed jhutka meat with them first?