Saturday, May 30, 2009

Early Weekend

The weekend in Afghanistan starts conveniently on Thursday afternoon, but cruelly ends on Sunday morning when I’m gonna have to be back at work at 8am. We ended the week with a happy hour – an idea introduced by some of the national staff to celebrate the achievements of the organization and the country that have been made thus far. It was of course an alcohol-free occasion (alcohol is officially forbidden in Afghanistan) – something which the internationals weren’t thrilled about, but there was surprisingly good instant coffee and a sumptuous collection of biscuits, pastries and cakes. Definitely enough to make a hungry intern happy. All was served in the green gardens of the premises and music was played at a conversation-killing volume. After a national staff had song two songs (Karaoke style) we unfortunately went back to a mixture of US and Euro-trash music (including ‘Where do you go’ from No Mercy – one of the first songs I remember trying to sing along in English when it was in the German charts in the mid-nineties). It was a nice enough occasion and a little disappointing that so few of the internationals attended in the end.
The weekend proceeded with a typical expat procedure of going to an expat restaurant (alcohol and Western food) followed by an expat party. Getting around Kabul past 10:30pm is difficult as internationals tend to have curfews, meaning their drivers won’t take them anywhere and officially they risk a penalty if ignored. However, of course there are ways around this, so that I found myself past midnight in a hot sweaty cellar where a Swedish cover band was playing past hits. The quality was acceptable and it was interesting to see that there were so many internationals around.
I was home late and slept till lunch the next day to then spend a very lazy two days in our garden, feeling slightly fenced in as the only trip outside was a quick escort to the expat shopping centre to purchase some overpriced yoghurt (not even the nice Afghan one, but imported Nestle stuff). At least the rabbit, parrots, tortoise and house mates were good company.

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