Thursday, October 1, 2009

Heading Home - part one

I am sitting in the airport in Kabul - waiting for the flight to Dubai.

We started the day walking the city wall. The city wall is a wall that was built in 460 AD. It now exists on only one of the mountains but offers a commanding view of all of Kabul.

Our hike began at 6 AM and we climbed as high as the monitoring blimp that flies over the city (yes, there is a blimp in the air over Kabul that monitors activities in the city - it can read the numbers on your watch someone said).

It was a great way to start the day and finish our trip in Kabul. From the top of the ridge you could see Murat Khane, the old palace, Babur's Garden and hear the noise and the traffic of the city bounce its way around the valley and make its way upwards.

Judy was a trooper - hiking the ridge despite her fear of heights.

We packed our bags and went to the airport. Getting in is certainly easier than getting out. I was frisked 3 times before boarding the flight (I am on the plane now) and my bags were checked 4 times.

Shoshana and Zia cleared the way for us - negotiating with customs agents (including the one who took the booze on my way in - this time he was going to take my batteries). Once again "Problem".

The rest was negotiated in Dhari - apparently he said "yes, haven't you heard - no weapons, lighters, or batteries"

After Shoshana gave him a whithering look - I left with my batteries. And at the additional check points I ran into no additional "customs fees" and a reduced rate for heavy bags.

Total VIP.

That Shoshana is a powerhouse.

Preparing for takeoff - more from Dubai.