How we met

How we met!
I belong to an email group: “siteexchange.” This is an email forum where blind people post things that they no longer need or want and others request them. I had many braille books.
  I did not need them anymore.
I posted them on this list.
Imran and his sister, H., shared an account and responded.
I, in my desire to know everything was quite curious why some blind people from Pakistan would be contacting me. I admit, I have always been someone who enjoys learning about culture and language. I want to know people personally. Yes, I am a people person. Actually, this is a bit of a contradiction because I can be quite shy. But, I want to know “people.” I want to know about their marriages, families, children, feelings, how they work, what makes them happy, etc. No, this is not so that I can gossip. But, I abhore small talk and frivolace conversation. I enjoy connecting personally with each individual. I want them to see me as a unique person and someone worthy of knowing and I want them to know that I see them in the same way. Although my children will disagree (with regards to their past and current partners) I want to find their strengths and support them in their endeavors.
So, with this in mind,  I emailed Imran and H. back and told them that the braille books were in English braille and… … could people in Pakistan read English braille?
Ok, sounded like a silly question considering the scant amount of books that have actually been translated into Urdu braille and the hundreds of books that are in English braille.
But, I did not even know that “urdu” existed and by May of 2006, I did know that Pakistan was an Asian country and it was Muslim: (probably like all of the other countries that had “stan” in their name). But, that is all that I knew.
But, that got us talking.
Soon we were emailing back and forth. Once, Imran got a friend K. W., to give me a call on his skype. We talked. There was so much to learn about culture, language and these two new people in my life.
We started sending voicemails.
This was May of 2006.

I knew very little about Pakistan, but since now I had friends from that country, I started to try to find out  more and more information.
My memory leaves some to be desired, so there are just some things that did not stick with me. I continue to soak up as much as I can about Pakistan. I thought that Karachi was in India. Literally, I knew hardly “nothing.” My world was just so small, but I yearned to know. 

I remember one email where Imran  described in detail his trip with his father from Pindi (Rawalpindi) to Lahore. He had family and friends in Lahore and that city holds fond memories for him. Later, I would describe our county fair, but the details would lay flat compared to Lahore. I wanted, right then, to go and experience that wonderful city: of course, this would include the train ride that they took to get to Lahore from Pindi.
Imran and H. were slated to study in the USA the following fall. I was both excited for them and yet I thought that it would be quite an adjustment for them. Luckily, they were well versed with the BBC and Imran’s BBC cricket listening had paid off.
Thanks to Imran, I now Enjoy countless programs from the BBC from
“World have your say,”
to “In touch,” (which is a program about blind people that comes on once a week).
I want to go to England, also! And, I love the breadth of the BBC’s programs.

 Ok, so he used phrases like:
“I will topple you over,” when proclaiming that he would beat me in a game of cards. How likely was that,  since I had been playing rummy for years and he did not even know the game? — (Don’t ask about the results).
I think that I laughed so hard at “topple over,” that he never used it again, but it was appropriate British English.
And, I will use it along with the british pronunciation of some words when we are joking around.


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