12.20 | Fancy Makeup.

Yesterday we went to a friend’s house for the feast that starts the Feast of Corban. When one goes to a Kurdish home for a gathering, the men sit in one room, and the women go to the kitchen to prepare the food, and after dinner, they hang out in another room. It’s not just to keep them seperate either – it takes all the women to prepare the food. One girl yesterday – her entire job was just pick the stems off of the raisins – and she did that alone for an hour. The only strange part is that we can be there for half a day and Nila and I will only see Robert maybe four times! We even eat in seperate rooms (there’s not room in one room for everyone anyway). Dinner (biryani) was SOO good. This daughter makes the best biryani I’ve had since being in town.

OH! Just now as I was writing this I remembered that it snowed last night! Yes – a good inch by the time we got home. When we were coming home, it was like a white out it was snowing so heavily. While we were at their house I went outside to look at the snow, came back in and said, “Whew! That snow is cold!” And one of the men said (in Kurdish), “Well it’s not like there’s any warm snow!” Pretty funny.

And for those who know…you’ll be happy to know that the women dressed me up in their fancy makeup after dinner. We stood in the kitchen and did make up at the mirror on the kitchen cabinet. But I showed them – I taught them how to use lip liner. They were using it as lipstick. Ha! Take that with your zor juane this and zor juane that! It was so fun.

Oh. And make this the second Kurdish grandmother who has whipped out her boob in an effort to either tell me feed Nila, show me how or in illustration of bf’ing while talking to another Kurdish woman about me breastfeeding (or NOT feeding) Nila. Kurds will feed their babies anytime they cry – not just in response to their hunger. So whenever I’m at a Kurdish person’s home and Nila cries they’ll ask in Kurdish if she’s hungry. Sometimes she is, so I’ll feed her. Then later if she cries again, they’ll ask again, and I might feed her because MAYBE she’s hungry, or maybe feeding her (letting her suck) might calm her down from whatever is making her cry). But when we’re at a person’s house for six hours, and everyone is loud and noisy and crazy and passing her around (and throwing her in the air and feeding her chocolate*), Nila’s going to take a few minutes to just be a fussy (literally, minutes), and it doesn’t mean she’s HUNGRY every time! So by the third or fourth time they’re telling me to feed her, I just have to say, “No, she’s not hungry, I just fed her, she’s full, she’s fine, she’s happy, she’s just tired.” But it seems that’s not enough, because inevitably, some Kurdish grandmother will be talking in Kurdish about me feeding her – I can understand the words for baby, why not feeding mama’s milk, not good – and all of a sudden she’ll whip out her boob! C’mon! WHY!? Why do we need to see that?

I know. I’m being very American. Boobs are for milking in most of the world. But I think this woman could have been a wet nurse. I was a little scared and pulled Nila close. You never know what could happen.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m going to try to catch a few more winks while Nila happens to be doing the same. Hwa hafiz!


4 thoughts on “12.20 | Fancy Makeup.

  1. I can’t help it-the whole “boob” thing cracked me up!!! Of course, I am easily amused-anyway I’d be fussy too seeing old lady boobs all the time!!!
    Love you

  2. you are becoming my hero more every day. being a single woman there was difficult. having a baby (and a breastfeeding baby, at that) puts you in a league all your own!!
    i was just recounting my story today of my visit to the women’s hamam. hopefully you don’t have to go there. ever.

  3. Okay, I’ll send you one of the extra boobs that your Aunt Kathy sent me and next time this happens, you can whip out “the boob” and tell them to demonstrate with that. You can tell them that American women have training boobs for breastfeeding. Or you can tell them that it is an American pacifer for babies. I’d love to see the look on their faces. American style!

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