I moved because I was tired of living in a *hotel*, never feeling like it was a home. I was tired of seeing all sorts of new men day-to-day or week-to-week and not knowing if they were guests or had just wandered in from the street, men who leer at you even when you are an overweight middle aged woman wearing bagging sweat pants and a t-shirt and don't smile (and, for me, not smiling is really hard). I was also tired of a certain group of men who make disgusting noises in the mornings and evenings during their walks around the courtyard and the way this group treats the hotel staff, and tired of one particular person from this group who finds excuses to call me.
At WFP#2, I'll save $600 a month over Assa 2, there's far fewer guests and they are all international workers. While I'm giving up my own TV, I'm gaining a fridge, a normal-sized bathroom, a much, much faster Internet, two TV rooms (both with DVD players) and a cookout with my fellow guests every Friday. The downside of moving to WFP#2, so far: one large, dieing cockroach found while I was unpacking and three dead in the floor when I woke up this morning. Yick.
There are some people from Assa 2 I miss very much and enjoyed seeing every day. The small hawk that the Assa 2 manager bought has been flying out in the mornings and then coming back on his/her perch to glare at us all. The dog that lives on the street outside Assa 2 is the only one that is happy to see me, greets me with a wag and lets me pet her (I only pet her on the head and then wash my hands immediately - dogs here aren't vaccinated against anything). And the manager of Assa 2 is a sweetheart.
If you are going to stay in Kabul for a couple of weeks, I think Assa 2 is a good choice, and I recommend it. But if you are going to live here longer term... there's better choices out there.
What will I find when I go home after work today? That remains to be seen... even if I stay just one month, I'll still have saved a whole lot of money. To be spent on carpets...
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The personal opinions expressed on this page are solely those of Ms. Cravens, unless otherwise noted.