One time I went to buy myself a cutting board.
It wasn't easy like here in the U.S. where we just go to our local retail store.
Instead, I needed to visit a carpenter.
When I found one, I used my "survival Farsi" and told a bearded carpenter what I wanted.
I used strange (but I hoped understandable) gesticulations to describe what I wanted.
I believe that my gestures said more than my use of the local language.
The bearded carpenter acknowledged that he understood my request, and proceeded to cut and sand a block of wood.
He was finished after about 10 minutes, told me the cost, and then asked me if I believed in Allah.
I pointed to the sun and muttered, "Zoroaster".
I knew immediately I should have just said "Yes" and left.
The bearded carpenter slapped me gently on my cheek, shook his head, and wagged his finger at me.
I paid him for my breadboard and left.
But his slap was as much a shock to me as the one that the bishop gave me at my Confirmation.
Another time I went to buy some toilet paper, but before I could buy the TP I had to answer a question: "Was I Russian?"
I think I was just getting teased, but this shopkeeper had a serious demeanor when he asked his question, and so I took it seriously.
I was able to buy the TP once the shopkeeper realized that I was not Russian.
Touryalai told me "Russia steals our gas and food."
Later, of course, they would to try to steal his entire country.
IT'S ABOUT RENEWABLE RESOURCES