Archive for March 22, 2008

Overlap of Holidays and Disappointed Friend

I was very sorry that I disappointed an Iranian friend of mine yesterday.  I had stopped by A.Z.’s optical shop on Wednesday however she was not there to confirm what we had discussed earlier, a lunch at her home at noon on Friday.  She wanted Ken and me to join her to celebrate the Persian holiday of Narooz and I’m sure she created a very lavish spread.  Since A.Z was sick and I hadn’t heard any more about the specifics of how to find her place, I thought the lunch date was off.  Unfortunately, I should have tried harder to locate her phone number or at least e-mailed her to see about it but my excuse was that I didn’t have her new, temporary phone number on my list.  (No doubt her phone number is floating around my desk on some little scrap of paper.)  

Meanwhile, A.Z. was having the same trouble trying to locate me by phone since I was at work.  We had scheduled for noon on Friday but it was the phone call on my cell phone an hour later that made me realize I had really disappointed my friend.  Her English isn’t that good but she certainly knew how to convey her sadness in our phone conversation.  I explained that I could not extract myself from all the work on my desk to go to her place at 1:00, it was too late.  If I had figured out how to get to her place I would have to leave again for another social engagement that started at my American friend’s place at 4:00 p.m.

Ken and I had been looking forward to participating in a Seder meal across town.  Once we joined up, we were stuck in traffic for over a half hour but it sure beat the committee meeting that Ken was supposed to be at on yesterday’s beautiful spring day.  Today is a beauty of a day and I’m scheduled yet again to join some fellow teachers at a Kazakh woman’s place for another big meal celebrating Narooz.  Tomorrow is our Easter Sunday so this has been one weekend filled with holidays overlapping each other.  Fortunately we have Monday off, not for our Easter but because Narooz is such a HUGE holiday in Kazakhstan.

I will have to try to make it up to my friend A.Z. somehow before she leaves for Canada in less than a month.  I also have to get better organized on putting people’s phone numbers on my permanent list no matter how temporary they might be.  Essentially we are all so very transitory on this planet and we need to treat each other with kindness especially when cultures and holidays overlap.

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