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Wednesday, June 19: Day 58 – Rob’s French Haircut

We have some time to do normal daily life things like laundry. (I had never realized how detailed laundry instructions are. It becomes difficult to manage when you are trying to figure them out in another language. It took us a while to determine that the soap dispensing machine was out of soap. Rob ran to a nearby grocery store and picked up a small box. Thank goodness they don’t sell megasizes like we have in USA.)

We got toothpaste and necessary purple shampoo and purple conditioner for my gray hair. I hate to admit it but I was just using bath soap and my hair was looking dry!

We went to the Strasbourg Cathedral which is 466 ft high. It was the tallest freestanding structure on land from 1647 to 1874. One can’t even begin to capture it in a photo. Also, inside is a giant clock that has lots of animations. We didn’t see it in action but it was very impressive. A ticket for the noon hour is highly sought after.

Rob got a much needed haircut. He likes to shave his head but I forbade him from bringing his clunky hair clippers. He would have to go to the barber or he could grow it out and wear a ponytail or a mun which is a man bun.

Fortunately, he agreed to have the barber shave it close in the sides and leave it longer on top. The barber is from Tunisia and did not speak English. He had an assistant who is from Morocco who didn’t speak English either. We had fun using Google translate. We wanted to take a picture at the final result and they insisted that Rob hold a guitar.

We went to a kitchen cuisine workshop that featured a refugee chef named Ahmadzai. We made dinner together. He showed us how to make some dishes from his native country of Afghanistan. And we also made dishes that were a fusion of Afghanistan and France. That is truly symbolic of his life.

Ahmadzai told us his story. He had been a translator for the US Army. He left Afghani in 2014. It took him eight months by walking, running, on boats, etc. He was headed to England but allowed to stay in France. He said that the city of Strasbourg had been welcoming and had helped him get employment. That is paramount for the arriving refugee. He worked at Burger King for 2 years. He now works at a restaurant and loves Strasbourg. He has one more year that he must be working to secure his residency in France. His family remains in Afghanistan.

What a fun time! We were thankful that he could speak English as the class was mostly in French.

Ahmadzai told us that the key to learning a language is to know the grammar first, then vocabulary. I am going to try that approach.

Bon Appetit!!

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