What are Baba and Amir doing in San jose on the weekends?
Baba and Amir wake up early on Saturdays, scan the classifieds in the local newspapers, and circle the ads for where garage sales will be located. They then travel to each garage sale in the surrounding area and haggle over various items in order to resell them at the San Jose flea market. Baba and Amir rent a small lot in the Afghan section of the flea market where they sell their items. Since many of the Afghan immigrants are poor, selling items at the flea market is a way for them to make some extra cash, as well as reconnect with their fellow countrymen. It is at the San Jose flea market where Amir first sees Soraya and meets her family. Amir and Baba never make a significant amount of money selling items at the flea market, but both men enjoy the social aspect of it. Unfortunately, Baba stops going to the flea market because of his lung cancer.
On Saturdays Baba and Amir visit garage sales in the neighboring areas, including San Jose, to buy second-hand goods that they resell at the San Jose flea market on Sundays. They rent some space at the market where they sell the goods at a small margin. Baba had earlier refused to use food stamps and instead wanted to work for his upkeep. Thus, the business was his way of increasing his income and making ends meet. The market also provides Baba and Amir an opportunity to interact with fellow Afghanis. Afghanis established their businesses at the Used Goods section of the market. Thus, the families got an opportunity to meet and talk about their lives in the United States, politics, and events happening in Afghanistan.
Tea, politics, and scandal, the ingredients of an Afghan Sunday at the flea market.
In the book The Kite Runner, Baba and Amir operate a booth at the flea market along side many other Afghanistan’s. Every Saturday early in the morning Baba and Amir would get up and look at all the garage sale ads. They would drive to the garage sales in a bus while drinking hot tea. They purchased the items that people no longer wanted. They would fill up the bus.
On Sunday mornings they would go to San Jose flea market where they had a rented spot. They would make some profit of the items they had purchased at the yard sale.