Bilingual Peanut
August 2, 2007

I just found a receipt in my purse from the duty free shop in Dubai. Apparently, I bought a bag of "M&M Bilingual Peanut." I paid 12 DHS for this bilingual peanut.

Afghanistan and the Television - 11 photos with short narratives about how TV is now a part of Afghan life (TV was banned under the Taliban)

Doesn't mention the Afghan love of Bollywood films and Indian soap operas, however...

Just found this yesterday:

KABUL, July 29 (Washington Post/LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH): Taliban militants used a heat-seeking, surface-to-air missile to attack a Western aircraft over Afghanistan for the first time last week, coalition military sources say. The attack with a weapon thought to have been smuggled across the border with Iran represents a worrisome increase in the capability of the militants that Western commanders had long feared.

By the way, "Is there a 'workplace princess' at your firm?" There is in mine...

Every night between 7 and 8, I am supposed to call in to the UNDP radio room via my radio and confirm that I'm not dead. And there's this one guy who has decided that the way I have been doing my radio check for the last FIVE months is now not correct. He doesn't work every night, thank goodness. But when he's on duty, if I leave out the word THE, he corrects me. I've had it. Next time he does it, I'm calling and letting him have it.

And continuing the I-hate-it-here-right-now thread, a co-worker and I have always thought the guys working in a certain UN department were really great, really helpful, really our buddies. She's known them for years. Today, she told me that last week, one of the guys asked her if she'd be the "special friend" of one of his friends, and do him some "special favors." She believes it's because she's African, and a lot of Afghan men see African women as "easy" - not people worthy of respect. She could not have been more hurt. This was someone she had really thought of as a friend. I'm beginning to think friendship in the field between men and women is impossible - it always seems to come with strings attached.

Through my correspondence with the Mayhew's Animal Home (don't forget to donate to its International Programme, I got to meet a delightful British guy here in Kabul, who is working with Afghans who provide the equivalent of county extension services regarding animals. He's trying to get these guys to think more pro-actively, to go out to the people and animals they serve rather than waiting for others to come to them. I would so love that kind of work - actually getting to work one-on-one with people in their daily lives... but then I think, what do I really have to offer them? My grandmothers -- *they* have lots to offer (cooking, canning, sewing, gardening, recycling/reusing, improvising...).

It's been amazing how many people I've met online through my Afghanistan blogs: an American woman in China who has been trying to help me with my firewall problems ('cause, you know, given where she is, she's an expert!), an American woman living in Germany, some people getting ready to come to Kabul for a job, people who used to live and work here, several American women active in a RAWA support group... all of their emails have been really kind and supportive. I've so appreciated them. And YOU, for your emails and IM chats. Geesh. Especially now, I can't get enough of those! The days drag by... please write me...

Now THIS is a blog. It must have been great to move around Afghanistan with so much freedom... now, virtually all road trips have been cancelled, and we're all being discouraged from doing, well, anything.

I so miss Germany. Even this excerpt from an email from a friend of Reb's in Germany made me homesick:

"I got to work today for a while - a good rainy german day. This is why we have the best engineers in the world and why our products are of such a good quality- we live in the rain 300 days of the year and all we do is invent things, write about life like Goethe and kafka and become what most of us are."
Stefan wrote this on Tuesday:
"This morning, while walking Albi, I was wearing my winter jacket, and then turned on the heating in my car on the way to work. No kidding! It's freaking 8°C!!! By the time you come home we might have snow."
I've got 19 days to go. I'm trying so hard not to obsess about leaving, because of my superstition that, if I do, something will happen to delay my leaving. But it's all I can think about. I'm getting teary-eyed at trucker songs about coming home, because they kinda describe how I feel... but my little white pills are actually big white pills of anti-biotics.

Today, I spent half the day at UNDP, dropping off exit paperwork, dropping into various people's offices... it was actually quite nice. I should have spent more time out of my office... no one would have noticed! They were too busy doing their own fun things outside the office.


If you have read this blawg, PLEASE let me know.
Comments are welcomed, and motivate me o keep writing --
without comments, I start o think I'm talking o cyberair.

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