It is hard not to go to Chicken Street when you have Steve as a house guest. The pile of stuff for the US has increased a bit more but now I am keeping things on display – our living room is getting increasingly interesting.

After a pedicure and massage I joined Steve at the Wahid’s where the repaired carpet was waiting for me. The repair job, for 200 dollars, was extraordinary. These things are done in people’s homes in family businesses where the craft of carpet repair is handed from parents to children, generation after generation. Wahid was so enchanted with the carpet , a Caucasian from the area just north of Baku, that he offered to buy it from me if ever I would get tired of it.

After Wahid we paid a visit to Mr. Khoshal which means Mr. Happy in Dari. He is indeed always smiling and was very happy to see Steve, someone who has contributed considerably to his business. We pawed through piles and piles of embroidered pieces from Central Asia, some in their original state and some cut from clothing. It is a mystery to us how people living in ill lit places, or as nomads, in places where there is no JoAnne Fabrics when you run out of yarn or lose your needle can produce those tiny perfectly consistent stitches; just threading what must be a very small needle seems like a miracle.

We broke our 2nd shopping spree in a row with lunch at the Bistro, a restaurant that caters to foreigners, and thus is open during Ramadan. Our driver and guard were not very happy with our long stay in town as the day was hot and the waiting long. I look forward to be able to simply get in a car and do what I want to do without imposing on others, even though driving us around is part of their job.

I am knitting like crazy to get a baby gift ready to return with Steve next Friday for a baby that is coming this month, alternating a sampler for Sita and Jim for their upcoming first anniversary. This means that I watch lots of TV or movies.

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