Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And They Took My Dog Too......

Last week we moved out of the palatial villa that had been home for the past eight months and into a much smaller, more modest place in the Shahr-e-Naw section of Kabul. Not a bad house overall, considerably more homey and less institutional than the last place,* but not without its difficulties.

*Which was a marvel of modern Kabul narco-techture.

First, we’re on city power most of the time, which is unpredictable at best. We do have a generator, but only one and it’s ill-advised to run a generator 24/7. Sooner or later it burns out the motor and then you are well and truly screwed. So, we run it when we have to (or when I can convince the house manager to turn it on), but much of the time we draw power from the regular Kabul grid. That’s kind of like depending on three crackhead monkeys on exercise bikes to provide electricity. You never know how much you'll get and the cost of frustration is pretty high.*

*Actually, that’s not fair……to the crackhead monkeys. Drugged-up simians strapped to exercise bikes would at least have some entertainment value. The retards at the Ministry of Energy have nothing to recommend them, least of all entertainment value.

Secondly, I no longer qualify for the room at the top of the house. A reorganization due to client demands means that I get the room right next to the main door on the first floor. The cleaning staff rolls in chattering like hens about 0630 every morning which makes it tricky to get a decent night’s sleep when I finally rack out, usually around 0230. More importantly, if any trogs manage to get past the gate guards………….first stop, my room! Needless to say, I check my AK every night and make sure it’s close at hand.

This house does have a nice garden out back, which is useful in a country with a shortage of green spaces. Unfortunately, because the garden is so nice, the Safers decided that having Tiger digging up the flowers was not an optimum situation. And since he chews through any sort of leash or restraint in about three minutes flat, they insisted we leave him behind.

I don’t even like dogs, but I’d come to enjoy Tiger’s company and all his bizarre quirks. His visceral hostility to any strange Afghans in the compound, his obsession with well-chewed footwear, his love of spaghetti and his penchant for lunging at unprotected genitals. A good (if slightly crazy) dog. But then again, if you were a dog here, you’d be slightly crazy too.

Tiger, showing his best "Crazy Eyes"

So now Tiger is back on the mean streets of Kabul from whence he came. I hope that the six months of good food and proper care will have improved his health to the point that he can compete with the other strays, but I wonder if living with people who didn’t routinely beat him will have softened his survival instincts too much.

I find I can’t look at the mangy, feral dogs in the streets anymore, for fear I might spot Tiger in a bad state. The fate of single dog is a small thing in a place with so much misery but ultimately it’s the small things that matter. At least to me.


Maddy M. said...

Thanks for your Blog. STay safe as well.


Frazier said...

Sorry to hear that Tiger left. I know how easy it is to bond with the little 4-legged beggars. Sad that I won't get to run into you in Kabul but I was sent to Baghdad at the last minute. Take care, I'll stay in touch.

Maihan Nijat said...

wow cute dog.

hope to have one like this.

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