Samir, the Afghan cook stood in front of the grill, smiling widely, upbeat music playing loudly from a battery operated radio behind him. He nodded eagerly to each person who passed by. On the white board behind the grill that normally displayed information about the day’s meals, a message was scrawled in Dari script. It was an Eid message, as Ramadan had just ended.
The disheveled, fat American cook who ran the mess hall walked in the front door and made his way towards the grill. As his eye caught the message, his gait slowed as he took it all in.
“What is all this?”
“Ramadan message,” the cook responded, still with a smile.
“No,” the American said, raising a towel to the message and erasing it. “I don’t know what this says.”