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Vegan Planet Guest Blogger

In keeping with the Vegan Planet theme, I thought it would be interesting to occasionally feature posts from vegans around the world. My first guest blogger is Lochlain Lewis, a vegan currently working in Afghanistan. Here is his post:

Eating Vegan in Afghanistan

We walk the short distance to the Afghan Security Guard compound for our weekly dinner invitation. Upon entering the small room most of us remove our footwear. A slender man comes in and rolls out a six foot mat on the floor. He scurries in and out carrying plates until there is no more room on the mat. It is now covered with dishes of rice, raw and cooked vegetables, falafel, meat, and flat bread. To be a good host is the mark of a good Afghan. They love that we sit with them on the floor around the mat, crossed legged or with one leg turned under with the other knee pulled up to one’s chest. In this setting with so many people sitting around the mat, they don’t notice that I’m not eating the meat.

I’m beginning to pick up the technique of eating rice by packing it with two fingers and thumb, and lifting it to my mouth without tilting back my head. My favorite rice has a nutty flavor nearly like Indian pilaf. It’s cooked with baby grapes that lend a tanginess to the rice. I pull a piece of the flatbread from the round next to me and, cupping it between my finger and thumb, I press it into the falafel patty. Its subtle spiced flavor contrasts well with the sautéed cabbage. Tomato slices as red and ripe as I’ve ever seen line the edge of a plate of green onions. The Afghan fare is what most of us would consider rustic. But it is in the simplicity that I find its true enjoyment.

At the close of the meal, green tea is served. They pour a small amount of locally grown granular sugar in the bottom of a glass mug and pour the steaming tea over it. The conversation floats like steam rising from our tea. Dinner concludes with handshakes all around and the occasional hand to the heart. Such hospitality is an oasis in an otherwise unforgiving terrain.
—Lochlain Lewis

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Nikki L. May 11, 2008, 9:35 pm

    Hi! Loved this post. Was this written just for your blog, or does this person have his own blog? If so, could you post the link? Thanks!

  • Robin May 11, 2008, 9:58 pm

    Hi Nikki, Glad you liked the post. Loch is a personal friend and he wrote the post just for my blog. He doesn’t have his own blog but I definitely think he should!

  • Mark May 12, 2008, 6:14 pm

    What a great post and a fine idea (blogged about it)! I would be interesting to get periodic updates to Loch’s activites and/or perspective of life in Afghanistan.Hearing from “international” vegans is cool.Best regards, Mark

  • Robin May 12, 2008, 7:29 pm

    Hi Mark,I appreciate you blogging about this post. I find Loch’s experiences fascinating and have encouraged him to start his own blog. (Nice comments like yours may help persuade him!) Thanks.

  • Anonymous January 28, 2009, 8:58 pm

    Very well written!I plan to use this to teach decriptive essay writing. Anaise

  • Anonymous January 28, 2009, 9:02 pm

    Sorry. I meant “Descriptive” essay writing.

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