Archive for July, 2009

“Elections here (Afghanistan) will be imperfect. But I am an American who lived through an imperfect election eight years ago. I am not going to hold Afghanistan to standards which even the United States does not achieve.” (Holbrooke,The Associated Press)

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Since my last post got deleted, I’m writing it again… this time on Word so that it saves!!!  And it’s not the same entry, it’s different. I can’t remember what I wrote about last time so I’m over it!

So I’m at work… and bored because seriously, there’s no work to do! I’ve done everything, I’m just waiting for responses to my emails before I can do anything.

Sadly but gladly, (does that make sense?!?) I rejected a job offer from one of the Ministries. It was a position as an adviser to the minister and so that meant working closely with the minister. The only problem is that the Minister works long hours and stays back til 8-9pm. I don’t want my husband coming home only to be alone in the afternoons – but on the other hand, it’s a GREAT job. I had to prioritise my options and choose one or the other. Of course my hubby was being a darling about it and he knew I wanted the job and supported me right through it. He also told me that he’s fine with it. Me on the other hand, being a worry-wart, kept asking him how he’d feel. Eventually he told me to put myself in his shoes and I did. That was the answer! If he came home late every night, I would be frustrated and annoyed. So no! Do unto others as you would to yourself, right?? And after talking to many of my friends, I rejected the job. I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything, my current job is just as good and more structured to my taste J

Oh yeah, Friday night my colleague msgs me saying we’re heading to Bagram the next day. I was like WHAAT for?? It was for a meeting. So I told them to let me check with my security and I’ll get back to them. They gave me the green light.

 I went to Bagram Airfield. It’s the American military base, stationed 2 hours north of Kabul. I was a little nervous at first, but after seeing we had guards and two cars, it wasn’t too bad. As we drew closer, I sensed a funny vibe. It was so much like a mini Guantanamo Bay. Seriously, I felt like I was there (apart from the orange jumpsuits) everything was so similar to the pics I’ve seen of Gitmo. It was cool though, there were three of us – a German, a Canadian and an Australian – but all with Afghan backgrounds. So anyways, after a long drive we finally got there and an American troop (one of the ones we had a meeting with) escorted us inside.

This is how it worked, we parked the car outside. Walked in and got searched at checkpoint 1 and then walked for half a Km in a ‘one way’ path that was half a metre wide with mesh fencing on both sides (felt like a prisoner being taken from one cell to another) and then another check, walked for half a km and then another check, and again, and again (seriously, it was 5 checkpoints). Stupid me had a camera and a flash drive. My Canadian colleague was smart enough to empty out her handbag make it SO much easier – it was probably her 50th time going there. Me of course, kept lagging them behind. Haha. They took away my phones, my camera, my flashdrive, even my PENS!

Anyways, after the checkpoints were over, we went through a body search carried out by a female American troop. Then it was getting our fingerprints and eye laser check.

Then it was another walk in between the half a metre wide mesh fences and then our male colleague got scanned in one of those thingoes where you can see a person without their clothes. FREAKY! Anyways, women didn’t have to do that so us two girls (the Canadian and I) didn’t have to. My Canadian colleague told me when she came initially the guards (who were Afghans) made her think that she had to go through the laser search (or whatever it’s called) and then somehow some of the photos had ended up with the American troops who were circulating them amongst themselves. Poor them! Haha

After that we were driven (in an armoured car – how ironic) to the building where the meeting was held. It’s THAT big! They actually have Burger King (Aussies call it Hungry Jacks), Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, a barber shop, gym, a bazaar, grocery stores. It’s like a little town of its own! It’s awesome! I’d definitely go there again!

On our way back, the Canadian-Afghan drove (female) so we had heaps of unwanted attention. We got back to Kabul, had a late lunch at The Grill and then I went home and hit the bed coz I was exhausted!!

So that was the highlight of my week!

Oh yeah, I went to the new Nova last week (they moved to Wazir Akbar Khan now) and the place isn’t as good as their last place but they’re still GREAT!

My sis arrived to Kabul today, so that’s something to look forward to!

I guess that’s it from my side! Say hi to your mum for me…

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