Ten days. I know it's been ten days since I posted anything here. I can only say in my own defense that occasionally real life intrudes on one's leisure (or semi-leisure) activities. This seems to be especially true in A-stan.
For instance, last night I sat down to watch a tape-delay baseball game, a rare treat here where most of the televised sports are either football (soccer), rugby or Afghan marital arts.*
*Wierd, I know. I was surprised when I discovered the Afghan passion for full-contact martial arts. That is, until I realized that it makes perfect sense. I mean, if there's a sport which Afghans are genetically predisposed to be good at, it would of course be martial arts, right? As one of my Afghan co-workers said to me, "We may suck at football, but we excell at kicking the crap out of each other."
Anyway, didn't even get through the first inning before there's a distant rumbling and the lights flicker. Then the cable goes out. Outstanding. Somebody blew something up. So up on the roof I go with some night-vision gear to see if I can figure out what's going on. No sign of fires or secondary explosions, so I'm not sure what got hit or how badly. Turns out (I discovered this morning) that the Talibs fired three 122mm rockets into Kabul last night. Perhaps indicative of the level of violence required to spark interest in this town, the event didn't even make the morning news, so I have no idea if there were any casualties.
To get around to the point of this post, after six months here with no real break, I've finally arranged to take some time off. Back to civilization in a week or so, after a quick overnight stop in Dubai. Specifically, London first and then the States, and if I'm lucky a short side-trip to Europe somewhere. Not sure how much time I'll have, but there's no point in leaving here for less than a couple of weeks. I have to be gone long enough to begin to forget what it's like or else I won't be willing to come back.