|well it was short but well worth it. Afghans are very pospitable people, the thing that drove me nuts was who do i trust. i did not run into any badies or i probably would no be in uzbekistan at the moment. A counrty that has been war torn for 27 years is slowly moving forward except maybe in kandahar. The education system is shit,power infriquent and food in some areas scarce. old russian tanks litter the highways along with red panted rocks indicating live mines.but what a beautiful county,what this place must have been like in the sixtys(im jealous Jack).
on the road from Torkhan(the border with Pakistan) to Jalalabad we were stopped by coalition troops. This american meat head looked at me like i was crazy. the others english was not too good, they asked if i was a terorist and i thought they said tourist. yes of ocourse i am, good thing for the meat head who understood what i said, this was the first of many time people thought i was talaban. they let us go after they did not find any guns or drugs.
in Kabul things were a little tense. islamic holiday and all. Burning danish embacy flags , 2000 strong attack a us military base on the outskirts of Kabul. but we were lucky, it was peaceful relativly compared with what was going on in other parts of the county like Herat. In full on disguise i managed to walk through the shiite demonstration i was not advertizing the camera at this point though. the only people who really took notice to me were small children, lucky for me there are alot of light skin afghans. not to give the wrong impression, many people are very nice and even like americans, but it does not take alot to motivate a croud. i also never saw another whitie walking the streets. on my second night in Kabul i walked down to chicken street to check out on of the only bars in town and get to expat point of view of Kabul. doom and gloom is all they spit. one guy was telling me how to sit directly behind your taxi driver so if he pull any thing you can stick him in the neck, just what i want to here. these people live in fear 24-7. the bartender/war journalist was much more down to earth than the rest. these kind of people are targets though with there same daily rutines. good to get another point of view. afghan people all say the same thing"no problem for you,you can do as you like but be careful".
so the road to Mazar was stunning, after cutting through the hindu kush we decended to an arid envirnment and shady teritory. all eyes from our taxi were looking in different directions. this made me a little nervous. aparently there had been some rebal attacks that day in town we were passing. the police on the road alerted us of this, but nothing thankfully. Just the odd russian tank and land mine all over the shoulders of the road.
the guys in the taxi kept asking me if i was arab. when you show people photos they seem to calm and trust you a bit. language barrier sucks.
Mazar was ok, i arrived on a friday so it was very busy. i met some really cool people. the shrine was nice but not alot to do in town really unless your big on shopping.
the next day i headed for the border,the books web sites and the us conulate said the border is only open to offical traffic.....