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Archive for January, 2010

it’s snowing and has been for the past 20 minutes but I thought it was raining the entire time. Until someone pointed it out. Spent 3 winters in Kabul and still can’t recognise snow!

So sleepy, had a tough night last night! Major headache so I didn’t get enough sleep! I seriously can’tbe bothered typing today.. so sleepy! Tomorrow maybe?

🙂

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Missing home

Listening to the top 100 of the Billboard Charts from 2005 in my Kabul office.

Who would have thought??

The last time I heard these songs were on radio in my car in my lovely hometown in Australia. Ahh, brings so many nostalgic memories. I would have never guessed the next time I listen to these sings will be in KABUL!!!

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Getting bombed paranoia

This morning as I drove to work an overwhelming wave of paranoia conquered me. We left the house at the common time when suicide bombings happen. Usually we travel around in an armoured vehicle but since last Monday’s attacks most of the armoured vehicles have been recalled and so we’re stuck in a regular soft skin vehicle for the day. Armoured cars gave me some sense of relief and the relief that I’m safe… to some extent.

As we drove through the heavy traffic, inch by inch, my eyes began scanning across the vehicle for potential suicide bombers.

An old man picking at his beard, waiting for the road ahead of him to clear up… nah he’s too old and looks too calm. The other car.. a car filled with young men, nah, too many of them.

A young guy frantic, alone, driving a corolla.. could it be him? He could be frantic because he’s a young inexperienced driver trying to make his way through the hectic traffic. Or could it be…?

Why were all these people travelling at this time in the morning? I’m pretty sure not ALL of them were on their way to work… it’s not worth the risk. Like that lady in chadari, walking briskly, why is she risking her life just to go to some relatives house?

 I saw the traffic police trying playing with his walky talky… I freaked, thinking he’s trying to detonate a bomb via a remote control. Another guy walking on the side of the street, his jacket had laces that were dangling down mid thigh. Is that the rope that needs to be pulled for the hidden suicide vest underneath his jacket? Could that be him?

I realized I was losing it or was I just being on the alert?

I kept reciting Ayatul kursi and my kalimah.

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I went to a wedding on Thursday night. As usual, I had trouble deciding what to wear – so I stuck with my maxi dress. The wedding was at Mumtaaz Mahal, the outside had a bazillion lights put up the outside, Vegas anyone? I was disappointed to see the waiters no longer run accross the wedding floor with hugeeeee trays of palaw and qorma dishes piled on top of each other with an occasional one or two falling and splattering qorma everywhere. Instead they had push-trolleys. The singer was Baryalay Wali – he was okay. His voice sucked singing live.

It’s been almost a week since the crazies of Kabul last Monday. Security has tightened (which always happens immediately after an attack – ever thought of doing that BEFORE the attacks??) There were gunshots here and there in Sheerpoor but that’s about it.

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Kabul down, Kabul down

Morning started off the usual. While at work, one of the Canadian girls said there was a bomb attack. Strange! We hadn’t heard anything! Hubby Skyped me a few minutes later saying there was a suicide bomb attack just outside the Millie Bank. The Millie Bank is only a few buildings away from the Serena Hotel.  But clearly, the target was Millie Bank.  The same place my brother in law, F, works.

The Taliban stormed the bank, commando style, firing. News reports say that the Taliban stole armored vehicles, one of which was filled with explosives and detonated this morning. Soon after, the Taliban stormed the compound. Thankfully my brother in law was on the other side of the bank at the time.

The Afghan National Army arrived and managed to secure the bank staff in the basement while they fired back at the Taliban.

Gunshots were also heard from Serena.

At work, it was business as usual despite the occasional outburst of breaking news from one of the people in the office. We had a meeting in the glass room – it literally is a glass room and I must say one of the most unwise moves of the year. If there was a bomb blast in the area close by, we are all goners!

That moment a bomb hit. Our office shook. Khair. I thought about the dead and injured lying there. My stomach churned.

One of the guys at the meeting joked ‘amee ootaaq besyaar sheeshayee nest?’

My mind kept wandering back at the possible scene that is out there. Body parts, how will families be able to tell their loved ones? Images flashed on TV, live.

I left the meeting room. I needed to walk it off.

I called mum to let her know that crazies are happening but we’re fine. Alhamdullilah.

A few minutes later my colleagues joined me in the room, we decided we should go down to the basement. We went to the conference room, tuned into BBC and there it was!

In front of Millie Bank, the skeleton of what was a car with the suicide bomber now in pieces. His legs chopped off, in the air. Undignified death!

That street is unusually busy, but now it was deserted. Cameramen along the sides of the road crouching down to avoid being shot, trying to get footage. I noticed a female Afghan photographer, good on her!

We had two televisions on. One tuned into the local Tolo station and the other tuned into BBC.  We had a short security briefing – not that it could do much.

And back to work it was with reports flooding my inbox about the crazy happenings still going on.

I was in continuous contact with my brother in law to make sure he was alright. He was. Relief.

The phone lines were terrible, they usually cut it off to avoid further mobile phone bombings.

The fighting continues, occasional gunshots are being heard.

More to come…

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Settling down…

Our office shook like crazy. another bomb.

That was an hour or so ago.

Things seem to have settled now.

My heart is with the victims and their families.

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10.20am

Taliban have stormed into the bank — gunfights are taking place.

Fighting continues inside the bank. I am trying to call my brother in law, F, phone lines are dead. He’s apparently okay, the police have secured his surroundings. But still…

I pray to God that the Taliban aren’t wearing a suicide vest.

I pray that my brother in law, or anyone else, isn’t taken hostage.

None of the phones are connecting.

Will keep you updated

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