Friday, October 31, 2008

Neighborhood Mujahadeen

I was getting the front porch ready for Halloween tonight and I heard some beautiful music coming from next door, kind of cool and kind of eery at the same time. It sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn't place it and thought it was a movie score.

Right up until the moment I heard someone gruffly yelling, "WHO DARES ENTER THE CAMP OF THE MUJAHADEEN!!!!!", some kids squealing and running, then... "COME CLOSER SO I CAN SEE YOU!"

It was my neighbor. I peek around the corner of the house, and he's set up a tent in his backyard with a brazier. Not a "camping in the woods with your kids" kind of tent; but the "living in Afghanistan your whole life" kind of tent. He had it staked with torches and to his motorcycle, prayer rugs on the ground, his dog next to him, fire going and tea cooking over the fire, along with his dinner. He was dressed in traditional robes and head scarf, with dark sunglasses on, face barely showing. He was eating chicken with a knife and telling kids to come back tomorrow for dog dinner. Amelia and I went over to take pictures and talk to him, and he gave her a chunk of apple while she sat on his rug. He had scimitars (authentic) and it looked like a few other daggers, but I couldn't tell for sure. I realized the music was Afghani, and he told me that the setup was authentic. He should know, as he just came back from a deployment from there not too long ago.

He was asking the kids who came by to join him in his war against the Soviets. He was actually re-enacting a history lesson while he was speaking, but the kids didn't know it. He told me kids are more afraid of him when he dresses like ordinary people (one year it was a monk with robes, a bible and Franciscan chants). There's something ironic about ghouls, goblins and vampires being scared by a monk! ;)

The funniest kicker to all of this, besides the fact that you probably couldn't get away with this anywhere but here??

My neighbor is the head chaplain for the whole base. :)

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