What I'm enjoying lately: listening to Alex Kingston read for 15 minutes once a week from an abridged version of "Rebecca." BBC Radio 2 ROCKS - I wish This American Life had an audio feed that was half as good. Between this and all these Brits I hang out with here, I'm going to have a British accent. May I offer you some tea?
By now, I would have thought that I would have been able to write about great happiness at the release of the Koreans... but they are still being held. Regardless of how I feel about their naivety and carelessness in coming here and traveling to Kabul by a freakin' BUS, and the adverse consequences of their actions that have affected so many people, and will have for a long while to come... I really do want them to get released. Apparently, the Taliban is reluctant to kill more because their funding sources have said, "Dudes, you *totally* went to far." Ofcourse, they've been going too far for many, many years now...
But things are NOT entirely grim here, not by far: Afghan refugees are returning here from Pakistan at a pace exceeding the expectations and resources of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). More than five million Afghans - 3.2 million from Afghanistan and 1.8 million from Iran - have returned to their country since the launch of UNHCR's repatriation programme in 2002 following the fall of the Taliban. I consider that an AMAZING, very hopeful statistic. Which is going largely un-noticed in the press... if you don't think it's amazing, then please do some research on the situation in IRAQ.
I had most of my money from every paycheck go to my bank account in the USA, but I had some put here in a bank account I opened here in Kabul (yes, indeed, there are banks here). I just transferred all those Afghan funds to my account in Germany. And now I'm wondering... do you think I've been tagged by the CIA or something? Do you think the next time I fly into the USA, they aren't going to let me back out? Do you think that there is some database somewhere that has my name and finger prints and blood type and retina scan and big bold letters that say THIS WOMAN IS DANGEROUS next to my photo?
I was trying to be funny, and now I'm creeping myself out...
Kabul Kitty is shameless. But then, aren't all cats? She's now added mid-morning and early afternoon pet-me-while-I-kind-of-nap visits on Fridays and other days that I'm off (I was off work again for the jirga, because of security concerns and crazy traffic). I am forced to obey, or there shall be much knocking over of the waste paper basket and things on top of the fridge. And she likes to nibble on my hands - I've never had a cat do that before. Albi and Buster, yes, but not a cat. Is it an I-love-you thing? Again, I assure you all - that includes you, Mara Beth - that the person moving in this room after me (a wonderful woman from Peru) *will* take care of C.C, and that I'm leaving her plenty of good quality cat food. I'll even leave her some guidelines on the proper mixing of the canned and dry food. I still think the guys at CARE are feeding C.C. too.
I just watched the film "Osama," about an Afghan girl who dresses a boy under the Taliban. It was filmed in Kabul around the same time as "Five In the Afternoon", which takes place just after the Taliban has fallen (and was released just two months after Osama). They would make an appropriate double feature (watch "Osama" first). But they are both rather depressing... and rightly so.
Hours of enjoyment, and the true sign that I AM SUCH A GEEK
And your reward if you managed to read all this: New Photos!. (did I mention that Kabul Kitty is shameless?) Be sure to click on DETAILED VIEW for the descriptions that go with the photos! (otherwise, you will just be confused).
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The personal opinions expressed on this page are solely those of Ms. Cravens, unless otherwise noted.