Yesterday afternoon we drove around the city- its strange as it doesnt feel like a city in parts, more like lots of villiages together. Its spread out amongst mountains and there are houses all around the hills. The roads are variable and mostly potholed and strewed with various rubble. Driving is suitably scary particularly as no seat belts are allowed. No seriously.. they actually dont allow you to put them on as it makes you look like a forgeiner. Khalid (Zahra's husband) has a big 4 by 4 and it beeps unless your belt is on but they have cut the strap and permenantly plugged it in to fool it!!
Im sure my white face and blue eyes give away my westerner status and the seatbelt isnt going to save that.
We went to see Kabul Golf Course- which is the saddest looking golf course I have ever seen. Thats not saying much as Im not a big golfer but the only sign that it is a golf course is a big sign saying so and bright yellow flags surrounded by mud, not a blade of grass in site. I even saw some brave golfers trying to hit a ball around this mess. The whole place is a bit of a joke really amongst both westerners and locals but it seems sad to me.
We had a quick trip up the telephone mast mountain to watch to sunset. Absolutely stunning. Its very cold here and there is snow on some of the hills.
John and Neer- are enjoying themselves too. John really liked the bombed out old Kings Palace which we went to see today. Its a shell of a palace really. Its been shoot at so many times its more of a seive. Whole floors were destroyed by the bombs. It must have been grand in its day as it sits on a hill and overlooks the city with its four floors and huge pillars.
The remaining walls have graffati - some farsi, some arabic, some english and even some spanish. "Estuvo Aqui 2001"- a reminder of the invasion/liveration/occupation nearly 10 years ago.
As we were being given a tour by a soldier we heard mortars in the distance. We all looked worried for a second. It was the Afghan army practising but gave a tragic realism to the situation.
Right opposite this desolate palace is the Afghan National Museum. It was ransacked during the Taliban time and the majority of the articfacts are now overseas. It was interesting though and I especially enjoyed the old lady who frisked/tickled me on the way in and out.. hehe.
Theres much more to tell. But im going now. Im heading to a northern city- Maazar-e-Sharif with John, Neer, Ramin, Zahra and Khalid tomorrow.