Reese's is producing a special Elvis Peanut Butter Cup with a banana crème layer. Hail to the King, and someone please send me some!
Erica had a look Kabul Kitty on Flickr and said, "That cat looks like (s)he's the only beneficiary of the World Food Programme! What a belly!" And, okay, it's true, but I got her that way, honest. And I'm sorry to say that her belly is full of something other than fat... I can feel a lot in there, and am a little afraid of what it might be. It's not kittens, but it is probably a zoo.
Got an email from the assistant to the Minister regarding the photos from work I uploaded to our Flickr account. He said, "these are great." I may have the email framed)
Yes, I heard the NPR story about the only native Afghan Jew left in Kabul and, no, I haven't met him. But now that I've heard the story, I feel like I outta go down to Flower Street and find him.
My recent favorite post to the Thorn Tree Afghanistan branch:
Just for the record, I consider driving your own vehicle (or cycling) in Afghanistan a Bad Idea (tm)I second that trademarked emotion. I have tried to be helpful on the Thorn Tree boards for people who might be coming to Kabul, by posting about my favorite shops in Kabul or civil society groups that sell their wares to benefits women, but people who come here as bike or hike tourists are STUPID. So are solo women tourists who come here. Yes, there are some people who pull it off and have no problem. But there are also many people who DON'T. If you want to incorporate a trip to Kabul, Herat or Mazar, coming in from one of the countries next door or by plane, fine. And if you have a *proper* guide, vehicle and driver, yes, you can be driven to Bamiyan safely. Anything else: you are a fool. And don't write me and tell me about your buddy who did it, no problems; I'll write you about all sorts of people who did it and were kidnapped or robbed or who are now DEAD. Those folks don't post to the Thorn Tree bulletin boards.
A co-worker loaned me some of her movies, among them, "At Five in the Afternoon" (Panj é asr), a movie that takes place in Kabul a couple of years after the fall of the Taliban. I've never met an Afghan woman like the protagonist in the film. I would like to, very much. The movie is a typical foreign film in that you have to pay attention, not a lot is said, lots of imagery, and the ending is vague. But I found it fascinating for so many reasons, like getting to see the inside of the ruins of Darul Aman Palace, which is so near my office, and to see how much Kabul has changed in just the four years since the film came out. I *highly* recommend the film if you are interested at all in life in Afghanistan and what Afghans are really like. If you watch it, here's a summary of how the city is different now:
I read this quote in a story about the demise of her salon, and I just shake my head:
"I thought Afghanistan was moving forward... now I see they still don't want women to have a voice and the women are still vulnerable. Strange women scream at them for not covering their heads, they're scared to death of their husbands, fathers and brothers. It's the same as it was under the Taliban. I can't believe that after five years of so-called freedom that these girls are still running."Hello?!?!? *What* country has she been living in? How can this be a new revelation for her after she's been here so much longer than me? I see this EVERY DAY - she's just realizing it?!?!?
I'm not at all delighting in her misery nor her naiveté. I've certainly had my moments of being blind to the obvious. It's a sad thing to trust someone and have that trust so incredibly violated. I hope she's learned a lesson and doesn't make this mistake again, and I *really* hope she gets those women out, because they are going to get killed otherwise, no question.
And maybe I shouldn't go to the Cabal Coffee House anymore... I dunno...
In health news... for probably the sixth time in five months, I had an allergy attack where my face was swollen as though I'd been in a boxing match. My lips were so inflated that they woke me up at 5 in the morning from the funky feeling. My sheets hadn't just been washed, and I wasn't running the fan in the night, and I hadn't been to the field, so I have no idea what it was. The night before, I'd been itchy all over. In the morning, it was just my wrists itching like crazy. I got up to look at myself in the mirror in the morning and, just like the other times, almost burst into tears at the sight. When the swelling had gone down to more than half as much, I dared to go have some breakfast, and the woman finishing up her breakfast said, "Oh, my dear! What has happened to your face?" Yes, I stayed home from work.
I'm sooooooooooooooooo ready to leave...
I've been little-Miss-Career-counselor lately, helping various international staff with CVs, cover letters and applications. I've been helping people I don't know as well, via a volunteer program through Open University. I do it because I know how incredibly frustrating and even humiliating looking for a job can be. I do it for the karma. It makes me want to pull out my hair when I have to do it for myself. I keep reading that most people fudge their CVs, but I've found that most people actually sell themselves quite short.
Off to take a shower. The fun of my day off just never stops!!
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The personal opinions expressed on this page are solely those of Ms. Cravens, unless otherwise noted.