07 August 2011

Arrival

Night has peacefully settled over Kabul. Lights dot the hills, the temperature falls from high 90s to high 70s. (It's still persistently 90 inside, though)

Arriving today, I wasn't sure what to expect. Having been here for 10 hours, I've seen no surprises. The streets bustled with activity, children played in the dirt, the Afghan National Police were seen on the street. The only difference between other third world nations I've visited and here, is a visible military presence-- particularly the white, military contractors I saw at Kabul International.

Picked up at the airport and driven through downtown Kabul to the Afghans4Tomorrow guesthouse, I was struck by the facility of the trip: we passed a few roundabouts, honked our horn at people in our way and 20 minutes later, we arrived. Though in many ways it matched the facility of traveling to Afghanistan: obtain the requisite visa in DC (no more difficult than Taiwan or Sweden's process) and go on Kayak and purchase tickets.

At the guest house, after being shown our room and speaking with the proprietor, I peered out the lobby window with great excitement. On the streets below, kids flying a kite! Although the novel Three Cups of Tea may have been exaggerated, Kite Runner clearly wasn't. And I looked into the sky and to my surprise? three more kites, flown from distant locations. I asked the security guard if Edward and I could go outside. Naqeeb encouraged us instead to fly his kite from the safety of the house's backyard. While it feels safe here, we are rightly a city in transition.

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