Bday Afterthought: Gypsy friends and wandering circles

Entry especially for Mummy (mamee, mama, mum, mother, mother of the year)

I am looking for secrets in Afghanistan, anything I find enchanting from what I read to what I experience. On my birthday I found myself in one.

The German Brothers

Joe my new gypsy friend (always smiling and has an exotic style of wear) took me to the German Brothers house for a night of meaningful conversation. The Brothers, 2 of them, are Germans who have lived in Afghanistan since 1972, seeing themselves through the Soviet occupation,civil war and strife, the Taliban and the American invasion. One is a nurse at a hospital; the other is a medical technician. During the Taliban there was a very small foreign community and wanting to give a place for them to convene, they opened their house to all on Thursday nights. A short prayer, food and plenty conversations. And today the tradition continues. I met a man called Mannu originally from Kanateka in South India who has lived in Cambodia for over 10 years and worked in many parts of the world as an agricultural specialist. We talked about the difficulties of being away then he said ‘But its a life worth living. I want to be of service’. He believes in water therapy and eats garlic every morning!

Stephanie, travels and service in rural China

Later we went to Latmosphere, not quite  a place you would find in Afghanistan. A disco/restaurant/night-gathering with a rectangular swimming pool surrounded by straw fencing. I would have loved to let go and dance but better still, we sat away from the music and then Stephanie took me into her world with some passionate conversations. I learnt about her travels in South-east Asia on top of buses and trains, losing up to 7 kg, invited into the homes of local villagers then once on a trip passing through a rural village on the Chinese/Burmese border she came across an English teacher; the only one in a rural middle school in Gengma (honest horse). She later started a sponsorship program with this school. I was fascinated by her description of this place (the beauty the landscape), this people (the sheer variety of ethnic minorities, their honesty) and the story of how her life came to meet theirs.

I am scheduling Gengma for the first half of next year InshAllah and might learn a little mandarin beforehand. Is it amazing; how when people meet, stories collide and a new life is formed, new directions, new plans. I want to keep growing like this. It is all within my field of attraction and it’s not even taking that much of effort.

Bon Fire

This was my birthday. Little congratulations, no partying, lots of conversations – all in one night, ending this night, sitting across a big bon fire warming my hands and feet thinking of where I am now and how I came to be here and how excited I am to meet many many more interesting people who leave stories and ideas for me to take me with through this life journey. This night, I even had delicious German Hot Chocolate. How blessed! When I told Hilaz this, he knew how much this hot chocolate alone made my birthday. He just knew and he was extremely happy for me.

Rumi came to me

The next morning at the DED guesthouse I came across a book ‘Fundamentals of Rumi Thought: A Mevlevi Sufi Perspective’ by Sefik Can and after reading a few excerpts I became immediately attracted to this book. Actually at the bookseller of Kabul last week, I convinced myself my birthday was a good reason to buy a credible work on Rumi. And Sefik Can who originally authored this book is a 95 yr old man who dedicated his entire to the teachings of Rumi. This was it, in my hands the work of the highest current authority of the Mevlevi Sufi order in Turkey – whose book was this? I asked around and after some time JO (my gypsy friend) realised it was actually his book.  Then he so kindly handed it to me and wished me Happy Birthday and wrote a beautiful note:

For Natasha, some people see things as they are and ask why you see things that never were and say , why not? Keep on rolling Natasha jan. From your gypsy friend forever Jo.

I was so so happy! It was perfect, it was special, it was unexpected. JO, thank you!

Words have life. Books have life. And ours crossed because we were finding each other. There is something about Rumi’s life and words I must learn in my present state…….what it is, I do not know yet….


The phone sings, someone rings far west following the hands of an old Singapore clock, timing 8.19pm exactly the time I took my first breath and sang my first song some 22 years ago. My mummy plays ‘do’ ‘do’ ‘so’ ‘so’ on the piano.

He tries to arrange flowers with numerous international florists yet doesn’t know he sends me a bouquet everyday for praying for my safety.

All change. He remains truth. I thank you.

Pride can stand a thousand trials
The strong will never fall
But watching stars without you
My soul cries


2 thoughts on “Bday Afterthought: Gypsy friends and wandering circles

  1. Aww Nattt, so glad you had a splendid evening for your birthday. Take care of yourself and love you to the corest xxxx

  2. ‘It is all within my field of attraction and it’s not even taking that much of effort’

    Love it! You are surrounded by good people because you are good.

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