Off The Train


When W left Afghanistan for Pakistan, he had one goal in mind—staying alive. While in Pakistan, he met a guy who asked what he could do for him.

“Help me get to England,” he told him, promising to pay him back within a year.

“But I don’t know your address or anything,”

“I don’t have one,” W said to him, “And I don’t know how I’ll find you, but I will pay you back.” It was 1980 and the Russians had invaded Afghanistan some months earlier.

“I couldn’t trust anyone, when I got here,” he said. “That’s why I say you’re lucky. You can just meet me on the train and we connect. I was too afraid then; I thought everybody was KGB. It’s a tough thing when you come to a place and can’t speak the language. Even now, I feel I still don’t know much English.”

I follow random conversations everywhere, and I followed this one out of the mouth of a 77-year-old man and off a train at a random stop to a bar to have Coca-Cola on Monday. I had turned my head and involuntarily smiled at the person seated next to me on the train, then he smiled back, and said something about my smile. 

We talk about life and politics and Khaled Hosseini and it’s really cool to be able to see people. Till he very politely and respectfully tells me he fancies me. 

Dear men, I challenge you, try not to sprinkle sex on everything. It is not the salt of the earth.


I packed my bags to go to Di in Kenya, then at the airport I was told I can’t get a visa on arrival in Nairobi with less than six months passport validity. I really should pay attention to stuff, but it is weirdly alright that this happened. I find that the things that used to make me dissolve into despair now make me focus on everything that is alright with greater gratitude.

I’m going home next week to get a new passport, then I will go camping with Di outside of Nairobi. Maybe, to the camping. I still think sleeping under the stars only looks good in movies.


I sent a story out for peer review and that makes me a little anxious.