Sunday, September 08, 2013

The Afghan Chronicles, September 9th, 2013 Day 5

September in Afghanistan Day 5 A quiet morning in Kabul, like Juma the streets are empty and you can hear singular sounds like a motorcycle going by, the spitting of the Parliament guards outside my window, a mourning dove giving her lone cry, the gentle tinkle of a bicycle bell as it sails around the corner of Park Street. Today is another holiday here in Afghanistan—the anniversary of Masoud’s assassination 12 years ago. Ahmad Masoud was the “Lion of the Panshir,” the head of the Northern Alliance that helped push out the Taliban after 9/11. His death seems like a prelude of what happened just two days later in New York. Where they connected? Who knows. In the west, his assassination overshadowed by the destruction of the World Trade Center, yet here in Afghanistan it is a solemn day of rememberance. There are fears that there will be some sort of attack today, so we will stay close to home. The fear causes anxious anticipation and every sharp noise brings a tremble. Who knows where or when it will happen, or if it will happen—we wait. Will it be near or far? Given that Parliament is right across the street, there is a good chance that it will be near. Still we cannot live all day in fear and must go about our business, with caution. Within this trepidation and anticipation, life does go on. Reports need writing, work needs to be done, emails sent, the 6 little kittens need to be fed. I have grown quite attached to one of the kittens, the one they named Tom. He’s an orange tabby, the kind I pan to get when I next get a cat. After 5 days of spoiling them with canned cat food, he has warmed to me and curls around my leg and lets me pet him to no end. Oh the temptation is there to bring him back to New York with me, but traveling through four countries before that makes it kind of impossible. I’ll just love him while I’m here I guess. The other ones are still a bit skittish but I have managed to give a few a good petting that has elicited purrs. Later today I’m going out to lunch with some former students, so we’ll see if that has to be cancelled. I hope not, being cooped up with just 4 walls to look at gets dull after awhile. I tell my students who come to see me that I now know what it feels to be an Afghan woman who is not allowed to leave her house. I suppose better to stay inside than to be at risk outside, and the risk is great from what they tell me. Going around during the day is OK but not at night. Just means I have more time to catch up on all the things on my to do list. One can see this as aggravation, I se eit as opportunity.

No comments: