Friday, August 18, 2006

Reassuringly Pavlovian

I was partly packing up, and partly watching the “Arrested Development” Season 1 I had just picked up. Then I heard some noises coming from outside my window. They were loud noises and my mouth started salivating. Well I wasn’t so much salivating, but I did immediately pause the DVD, take a second, and then go for the camera. I’m kinda disgusted by that. The going for the camera part, but it’s not the first time, and probably wont be the last time. And as terrible or even disgusting as it may be that I want to take pictures when I hear explosions going off, I’m kinda happy that the response is somewhat Pavlovian. If only for the reason that it means that I’m not completely acclimatized to living here, or even rather that I am correctly acclimatized, in that I notice explosions.

Usually when I’m sitting at my desk, in front of my computer with the music playing, and I hear what later turns out to be a door slamming or an engine backfiring my middle finger finds its way instantly to the mute button. The circumstances were slightly different tonight, but the ends were pretty much the same.

This time though, it was fireworks going off. Yeah, I know, I had the same “wtf” response when I got out on the patio, camera in hand, and saw what was going on. Tomorrow is Independence Day. And well, there has been a weeklong continuing “wtf” response to the holiday too. Since not much of the local staff can explain what/whom the “independence” was from (the day of celebrating the defeat of the Soviets is in spring), and assuming that it’s done in correlation with India’s and Pakistan’s Independence Day celebration, i.e. from the Brits) and I can’t seem to find much info on such, or rather get a satisfying explanation, I hoping someone else here can provide info on that. After all, even the Durand Line is still in place.

Anyway, I got to see some fireworks. And as far as that particular “wtf” response, even though I’m all for celebrating one’s independence from occupiers (please, no irony/hypocrisy comments here...I’m well aware), are fireworks, exploding off TV Hill, the smartest thing to do in Kabul? A parade, showing big guns and waving kids—that I would have thought as much more appropriate these days. The time of the display going off would have been an ideal time to drop some RPGs or set off some IEDs. I think some tracers even went off from the side of town opposite where the fireworks were launched from, at least they looked like tracers.

My reservations notwithstanding, I got to see some nice fireworks. And once again, right around the time I’m leaving Kabul, explosions are going off. In celebration this time, thankfully. And hopefully tomorrow, any explosions will be for the same reason.

Last, but not least: Happy Afghan Independence day.


Anonymous said...

Against the British. Check your pajhwok news homeboy.

Of course, my initial reaction was, "It's a coup!"

Bon voyage.

Q. A. Shah said...

But, so there was a treaty signed in Rawalpindi on Aug. 19th, as I just learned.

But as was also noted, and as I remembered, this was signed after the third unsuccessful attempt by the Brits to occupy Afghanistan.

So again, my question still stands.

Anonymous said...

Visit following link for Afghanistan's Detail profile.

Anonymous said...

Eh, I dunno. Why don't you write another post so we can argue about that instead?