I remember growing up with a slow influx of Western culture into Afghanistan. And I came to the U.S. the way Amir did, as an immigrant, when I was 15. There was a budding Afghan community, a very small one at the time, and just like Amir and Baba, we found it and became part of it. The scenes in the flea market are very reminiscent of my own early years in the States with my dad and I working there.Western culture's "slow influx" into Hosseini's life continued even in the Bay Area. With a "budding community" of native language-speakers around him, the rate of his assimilation was bound to slow down. Hosseni married an Afghani-American he met in that community, and I'm sure they're teaching their children their shared mother tongue, customs, and religion. When you're thrown into an all-white suburb in seventh grade, the way that I was, Western culture comes barreling at you full steam.
Khaled Hosseini: A Slow Influx
Here's an interesting interview in the San Luis Obispo Post (current temp: 75 degrees, sigh) with Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner. His quote on life between cultures: