All things counter, original, spare and strange in Khujand, Tajikistan

Some Tales

In order that my forthcoming tales of my life in Dundee will make sense, I need to describe to you a few characters:

Monika: Sort of my boss at Signpost and kind of a surrogate mother.  She’s Finnish, her accent is cool, very precise with emphasis on the last syllable.

Aku: Monika’s fifteen year old son.  He had to work at Signpost this week for school credit.  Some sort of “work experience” thing.  His first assignment was to baby-sit me on Monday when I crashed at his house after I flew in.  He is obsessed with rap culture.  Today he deleted all the 50 cent music off his mp3 player because 50 kicked The Game out of the G-Unit.  Crazy kid.  Tomorrow I’m biking around Dundee with him if the weather’s good.

Mike: Volunteer at Signpost.  Grew up in Hilltown, where Signpost is located, probably the worst neighborhood in Dundee.  He had a major problem with drugs and alcohol before Jesus got a hold of him.  Hilarious guy with a rich scotch  accent.

Deuan: My host for the summer.  He’s a chemist at a pharmaceutical company and the youth director at St. Peter’s Free Church of Dundee, where I’ll be attending.  As the mac scholars from last year’s trip know, he’s absolutely brilliant with kids, as well as with chemistry.  Has the worst teeth I’ve ever seen and bad taste in movies.

Today was an eventful day.  Mike took me and Aku to a little arcade/bar and taught us how to play snooker.  On the way he showed us where his brother-in-law jumped out of a 14th floor window.  Anyway, snooker is really quite entertaining.  It’s like pool, but a little more complicated, with more balls, and up to four people can play.  We had the olympics of snooker: Finland vs. Scotland vs. USA.  USA got trampled.  On the way back he kept making detours into shops.  He stopped to look for used CDs and to buy sandwiches.  He’s a random, energetic man in a rolling kind of way.  He’s very round.

Some things I’ve learned:

“F***off” is one word

I weigh thirteen stone

Guinness is delicious

Scottish kids are the most adorable kids in the world.


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