Sunday, April 23, 2006

Circling Towards Summer

It’s hard to have your nerves frayed when the weather is as amazing as it is currently in Kabul. But I think a lot of the expats on our team are in such a state; partly from the project and work itself, and partly from the upswing in attacks and violence.

There was this past week’s rocket attack close to the embassy. Luckily the house I’m in is quite some distance from there, 2-3km or so. I was up at the time and went to look at the smoke plume with a housemate that woke up. I think my skills at sleeping through earthquakes would extend to rocket attacks too. So it’s reassuring to know that my housemate in the room across from is a light sleeper.

Then just a few days ago, our security director walked in to dinner a few minutes late, reporting that there was another attack. A co-worker in the house quite close to the embassy and ISAF had called him reporting a blast and hearing ISAF sound the alarm. (We found out later it was just a gas cylinder that had gone off.) Our Chief immediately started discussing and working out the logistics of getting all the staff into the (safer, distance from target wise) house I live in. Then after about two minutes, and a few sighs, we all carried on, thick with sarcasm, insulting and ribbing each other and everything else as usual. The next day, when the other co-workers were to move to our house, not one decided to bother.

I’d like to think that decision was made because the spring weather brings hope.

P.S. In the past few months, whenever I would hear, or hear about attacks or gunfire or such, my thoughts would always soon race to the nationals and locals that live with this in much different circumstances than us well-walled expats, and moreover many of whom who lived through much worse for many years. I realized just a few days ago, even after reading about the Afghan national that was killed in the recent attack, that I didn’t pay much mind to the national’s/local’s situation. I’m far from settled on how I feel about this fact. Since in many ways, it was a patronizing empathy, but in the least it was an empathy, however misplaced or misguided or mis-rooted it may have been. And it’s absence implies some callousness and/or complacency towards certain things. Yet those two things, in then end, are somewhat useful in this environment.

... next time I write a paragraph like the above, I’m just gonna do a big circle flow diagram, with an appropriate legend. It’ll be easier to read and likely make the callousness point that much more strongly...

4 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Makes me glad to be out of that country. I mean, it's all about hope and everything, but I find it so much easier to be hopeful when surrounded by lovely people and trees.

Q. A. Shah said...

I hear ya. But you were up north no? Some trees there right?

I was driving (yes yes, getting driven...)around town yesterday and I noticed the grass up on TV hill. It was nice to see, but somewhat dissapointing that I actually noticed grass in spring. I mean, grass has become of note now???

At least one gets to appreciate such things anew...

vasco said...

Mate, did you hear the explosions this morning? I didn't realise that was a rehearsal for the gun salute, and just about shat meself. Fucken hell 6 am. That's just rude.

Q. A. Shah said...

Hah! I knew that earthquake-proof sleeping ability would come in handy.