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  • hardie karges 12:27 am on July 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Capitalist, Christian, Communist, , Judaism, Kabul   

    Suicide Pax: Afghanistan, too! (a fantasy in four-part disharmony) 

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    God & State in Kabul, Afghanistan

    continued from previous…

    RRRrrrinnnggg…

    There’s that familiar sound, of civilization. I pull out my cell-phone and look at the number, THE number, the same number that I remember oh so well—my wife. Should I answer? I feel the hard asphalt beneath my body, the blood seeping out all around. RRRrrrinnnggg. What the Hell…

    สวัสดีครับ Swasti Krup Hello.” Did I mention that my wife is Thai?

    สวัสดีค่ะ Swasti Ka Hello. How are you?” her voice sounds good. I smile. I can see her there with her phone tucked under her chin, doing something else while talking to me—eating, probably. (More …)

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  • hardie karges 2:55 pm on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Kabul,   

    #Kabul #Afghanistan: Jihad for Dummies, Spring Hopes Eternal 

    Happy Persian New Year 1394! I celebrated it last year in first-cousin fortress Kabul, behind enemy lines, me and Brian Williams, the biggest celebrations at the Serena Hotel, where foreign journalists and dignitaries felt safe until Talib and the Taliban bluffed their way past Checkpoint Charlie, killing several before it was all over while I slept soundly (gulp) in another neighborhood… What a difference a year can make!

    แสง สี เสียง: Light, Color and Sound

    God & State in Kabul, Afghanistan God & State in Kabul, Afghanistan

    The queue for Safi Air flight #248 from Delhi to Kabul looks like something of a loya jirga in itself, businessmen and diplomats, village traders of lapis lazuli, scammers and schemers, all going back to the homeland for one reason or another, all with excess baggage—fridges toasters and microwaves, dreams hopes and expectations—all wearing long tunics baggy trousers and funny hats, all speaking strange tongues and whispering strange sighs, body odors wafting from overcoats whose histories likely date back to eras unspecified and improperly documented.

    Any one of these guys could be a Taliban terrorist, al-Qaeda conniver or Saudi Salafist, down on his luck up on his religion out of his rightful mind and into the only one that’s left, high-tailing it or in-boxing it or tweeting it or snap-chatting architectural blueprints for any one of 1000’s of memorials and buildings and airports freely…

    View original post 588 more words

     
  • hardie karges 12:47 pm on April 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Kabul   

    Election Day in #Kabul #Afghanistan 

     

    Karzai and author Hardie Karges

    Karzai and author Hardie Karges

    Tomorrow is election day in Afghanistan, and all fingers are crossed, all eyes watching. Regardless of who wins, the future is not so bright. The Taliban vows to punish anyone who votes. And they aren’t known for making idle promises. Of course the real challenge begins when the US pulls out later this year, and questions remain what sort of contingency will live on here. The smart money would probably bet on smart money, with few soldiers. That would probably be the best move.

    Of course the widely predicted civil war won’t necessarily occur when the US pulls out, and if it does, that doesn’t mean that the Taliban will win again. Another possibility is that the country might be partitioned de facto into a Taliban-controlled south and a more liberal—less conservative, that is—’Muslim lite’ north, where women can walk the streets without a burqa and men can eventually learn to appreciate that, and their equality. Isn’t that the real problem anyway: ignorant a**hole macho men who’d rather beat women down than lift themselves up? Old ways die hard, I guess… (More …)

     
    • Esther Fabbricante 3:57 pm on April 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I am astounded by your knowledge of the situation there and do appreciate your input.

    • REM 5:29 am on April 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Quite insightful as usual…and happy to see your death wish went unfulfilled…

      • hardie karges 8:19 pm on April 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah, me, too, overall a worthwhile experience, actually… me, bad-ass? Ha!

  • hardie karges 12:25 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Kabul   

    #Kabul #Afghanistan: Jihad for Dummies, Spring Hopes Eternal 

    God & State in Kabul, Afghanistan

    God & State in Kabul, Afghanistan

    The queue for Safi Air flight #248 from Delhi to Kabul looks like something of a loya jirga in itself, businessmen and diplomats, village traders of lapis lazuli, scammers and schemers, all going back to the homeland for one reason or another, all with excess baggage—fridges toasters and microwaves, dreams hopes and expectations—all wearing long tunics baggy trousers and funny hats, all speaking strange tongues and whispering strange sighs, body odors wafting from overcoats whose histories likely date back to eras unspecified and improperly documented.

    Any one of these guys could be a Taliban terrorist, al-Qaeda conniver or Saudi Salafist, down on his luck up on his religion out of his rightful mind and into the only one that’s left, high-tailing it or in-boxing it or tweeting it or snap-chatting architectural blueprints for any one of 1000’s of memorials and buildings and airports freely available on Internet and suitable for bombing.  That’s probably what they’re saying about me, too, CIA or worse, agent provocateur.

      (More …)

     
    • Esther Fabbricante 6:29 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hardie: Where did you learn to be such a prolific writer – or were you born with the talent?
      I’m glad you are out of Kabul.

      • hardie karges 11:46 am on March 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I came into this world kicking and screaming, born with little or nothing. 🙂 Actually I think one just has to write a million words and then see what he has. I started writing poetry and am currently mixing that into my travel narrative, which I think comes out interesting, maybe a pleasant change for both, will continue as long as you and a few others appreciate it. Thanks for your comments.

    • Jewceeme 7:49 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I would love to know what kind of moonshine and other booze you encounter. I’m genuinely interested in what people drink. Easy for a man to get in on such things. As a female, I’m afraid I’d be peeling potatoes in the back of the house if I ever visit. And please post as much as possible–I’m fascinated with Afghanistan! Thank you for letting us visit vicariously through you!!

      • hardie karges 11:41 am on March 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I’m sure you know that Afghanistan is a Muslim country, so any alcohol is pretty much kept under wraps. I’m sure that you would be more likely to encounter it in the ‘Muslim lite’ north than the Taliban-infested south, but I doubt much even then, possibly most likely in the Tajik strongholds around Fayzabad, which the Taliban never controlled. I have drunk beer and partied with Tajik females on holiday in Samarkand, so it IS possible, but Afghanistan is probably not the best place to do it, a bit of a dicey proposition for any sort of tourism right now with the election coming up, and the future uncertain. Considering that a journalist was killed in broad daylight a few weeks ago, even Kabul is not especially safe, though I encountered no problem. I hope to get back to the region soon, as all the ‘stans loom large on my list, currently on hold for a variety of personal and logistical reasons… thanks for your comments. 🙂

        • Sunshine 3:53 am on March 28, 2014 Permalink

          I don’t believe for a second booze (whether beer or moonshine) isn’t available. But only males can get easy access. As for your safety that is another matter. Yes, be safe! But everybody tells you that and you know it already 🙂

    • Traveling Ted 5:03 pm on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I concur with Esther. Although I enjoyed reading Hypertravel, this post shows you have improved your writing skills dramatically since that was published. This is brilliant. You have a lot of courage to be traveling in Afghanistan right now, but I am sure you are safer than many people think.

      • hardie karges 2:58 am on March 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the vote of confidence, Ted. Actually the main real difference is that I’ve consciously decided to adapt my ‘poetry mode’ to travel writing, not sure if I could get away with it. Thanx again…

    • Michael Luongo 4:20 pm on May 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Good to read on Kabul – was there several times, though by now many years ago, 2003, 2004, and 2005 – you say it is not a beautiful city, but I found it to be very beautiful, with welcoming people – the rest of the country was quite amazing too…..

      • hardie karges 9:20 pm on May 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        To be clear, I liked Kabul, and its people, but I doubt that it would win any beauty contests based on objective criteria… Unfortunately it’s all a bit dangerous at the current time, so it would be irresponsible of me to recommend it to anyone for independent travel…

    • hardie karges 2:55 pm on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on Hypertravel 2: the Electronic Dance Re-Mix and commented:

      Happy Persian New Year 1394! I celebrated it last year in first-cousin fortress Kabul, behind enemy lines, me and Brian Williams, the biggest celebrations at the Serena Hotel, where foreign journalists and dignitaries felt safe until Talib and the Taliban bluffed their way past the Checkpoint Charlie, killing several before it was all over while I slept soundly (gulp) in another neighborhood…

    • Esther Fabbricante 4:27 pm on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wow! I am awestruck again.

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