The first time I met my landlord was to talk about finances. I was with the men on our team. I had a small scenario in my head of what might happen. But nothing I imagined happened that night. We entered the landlord’s property, took off our shoes, and went into her house. We spent the first few moments talking about who we are and where we came from. No more than the usual questions: Where are you from? Which city were you born? What is you work? After a little chit chat, she invited all four men to have something to eat.
We had dinner right before we came to visit our land lady, a fine mistake. We entered her kitchen where her daughter had prepared a noodle soup dish with some stewed beef. We sat down and listened to her talk about life in Karakul and how glad she is that we will be teaching soon. After a bit of tea and bread we dove right in for second dinner.
There are times when you know you should have not eaten more than you did, especially around the holiday seasons. That’s exactly how I felt, miserable. I ate and ate as slowly as I could. I took small bites and chewed as slow as possible. I’m sure I looked like a cow chewing cud. I thought to myself, “I know I’ve been in situations like this before. I know how to mentally prepare myself for eating lots of food.” But that I night, second dinner won the battle. After my last spoonful, I felt like I was going to explode. After we ate, we talked a little business and then spent another 20 minutes saying goodnight. I can’t remember everything we discussed that night, but I’ll always remember to visit on an empty stomach.