press coverage making me laugh
July 22, 2007

For six months in 2007, I worked in Kabul, Afghanistan, helping a government ministry there with communications functions. I maintained a blog via a private Yahoo Group for friends and family, and I cleaned up those blogs later for public consumption and published them here in my web site. The last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was published while I was in Kabul, and because the head of Paxton International, a logistics and moving company, bought 50 copies of the book in Dubai at 3:01 a.m. Saturday and brought them back to Kabul later that morning, I got the book sooner than anyone I know anywhere in the world. This is one of a few blogs I wrote the experience (others linked at the end).

Okay, as of 9:28 am Kabul time on Sunday (which is 11:58 pm SATURDAY in Henderson and Austin), I've now been referred to as behaving like a giddy 9-year-old at Christmas in the International Herald Tribune (at least their online edition; not sure about the paper version), The West Australian and Yahoo! Singapore News.

My I-got-the-book-before-you-neener-neener quote was in the main Yahoo! News AP story, CBS News online site, the San Francisco Examiner, WABC-TV New York, The Buffalo News, the Charlotte Observer and the freakin' China Daily.

*This* is how I'm going to become world reknowned: as an insane UN worker from Kentucky living in Kabul and geeking out over Harry Potter. Lovely.

The story behind the story:

Yesterday, I rushed into my room from the shuttle that could NOT get me to my guest house fast enough, I took off my work clothes, put on my PJs, and I resumed reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (I had started when the virus took over my computer, as you might have read on the newswires...), and about a half an hour later, the phone rings, and I'm like, WHO THE F*CK IS CALLING ME DOES'T EVERYONE KNOW I'M BUSY?!?!?!? And I answered the phone, and some guy on the other end says, "Jayne? Am I disturbing you? Are you reading?" And I say, very nicely, "Yes, I'm on page 100. And who is this?"

He told me he was a reporter, he asked me if the acted-like-a-9-year-old was an accurate description, and I said, TOTALLY. He told me that he was so sorry the camera crew hadn't been there when I arrived. I told him the shipping company guy had said exactly the same thing.

Later, I took a break from reading and, while talking to Stefan on iVisit and giddily telling him of the events of the last 24 hours, I wondered out loud if stories were starting to appear online. I started doing a news search on my name and... there the stories were, first in Asian papers, and working their way around the world.  

I'm on page 320, in case you were wondering... more than half way through. It always feels sooooo incredible to read a Harry Potter book for the first time... I'm just so sad that it's the *last* time... it's kind of like watching the last episode of your very favorite TV show that you gathered all your friends together to watch, and thinking, wow, I'll never have this specific experience again... except that it's twice as intense a feeling in this case, because of just how hugely special these books are to me. I started reading the first Harry Potter after I moved to Austin, Texas, just after the third book came out in paperback. I had decided I couldn't resist the hype anymore, and it was a time when I was just finally coming out of the worst time of my life. It was there just as I was starting to recover my life. And he's been there with me ever since, in all the rebuilding years and in all the lovely things that have happened since. It's just weird to think our time together is coming to an end...

I did NOT pay the guy who brought me photos on his memory stick to the office today to infect my computer with a virus, I SWEAR; while it's meant that I get to sit here and read while the IT guys work on my computer, it's also brought my *work* to a grinding halt. And, shocking as it may seem, I like to *work*. And I'm under some very harsh deadlines right now with finishing up reports for donors...

How I got the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before you did.
My own account of picking up the book in Kabul, July 21, 2007


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Comments are welcomed, and motivate me o keep writing --
without comments, I start o think I'm talking o cyberair.

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