The first rains

It is the first day of rain.

I have been dreading it for a while. And here it has come.

Now deal with it.

The cold is gentler, true; but everything else…

You try and navigate the unpaved roads on foot!

And me being me, clumsy AND stubborn, I am refusing to wear boots as yet – as a kind of mental resistance to the idea that real winter is still to come. (Please do picture Lorenzo now rolling his eyes at my stupidity)

Back on the roads.

Bright turquoise rain coat on pink headscarf – how glamourous and appropriate is that? People look at me in a funny way. A wobbly patch of flashy colour in the gray-brown surrounding. Would I not look at myself in a funny way? Indeed I would.

Workers have stopped digging this morning because of the rain and stand on the side of the road – on what one day will perhaps become a footpath? – staring at cars spraying on occasional passer-bys a gross mixture of water and you-don’t-want-to-know-what.

And yesterday’s holes are today’s deep puddles.

So I climb on a pile of pebbles to avoid the ditch, but the pebbles were dusty yesterday hence are slippery today hence I feel like ice skating, but – I swear – ice skating on mud is not quite as fun – I understand it may have its kinks, but we are not talking about it here.

And then finally I reach Street 2 in Qala-e-Fatullah, the fresh tar shining in the rain. Ah, a real road! So I venture on it, but the tar is still wet and, yes, more slippery as it mixes with rain water. And I keep walking, slowly and more wearily as I feel I am growing taller: if mud were not enough now tar mixes with it collecting pebbles and leaves under the sole of my shoes and I feel like walking on stilts.

Tic tic tic – the sound of my steps until I reach. I walk in and leave behind sticky black traces.

I sit and clean my shoes. Now I have tar smelling hands.

And it is only the first day of rains.

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