From October 24 to 27 we stayed in Kabul to “refuel” but they turned out to be rather busy days! On the first day we went shopping around Chicken Street (I bought beautiful embroidery which I still enjoy), went to the post office and the bank – where dreamy looking hippies collected their allowances from home – and photoshop where I was promised a Retina Reflex camera just like mine!
The next day, however, it became clear that only a Retinette without lightmeter was available and moreover my other accessories did not fit, but I thought it will have to do … I am happy that S. decided to return with me: travelling means observing, and observing is an art which she masters. Also in the city where we feel more and more at home, we stare our eyes out. We move around by bus (all the women in front), by taxi or on foot through the tangle of narrow streets, stalls and beautifully painted honking vans, alongside men with heavily loaded donkeys or horse-and-carriages, women in vividly coloured bourkas (their eyes hidden behind lattice-work), hippies in their Afghan clothes in various stages of bliss etc. etc.
We went to the Russian Embassy as we would have liked to try and fit in a trip to Tasjkent and Samarkand, for which we needed a visa. The Embassy looked like a city in a city. To our regret it was technically impossible to get a visa in time. We then at last have time to go to the Museum which is extremely interesting. Arriving at home we find M.J. and G., who have just returned from their difficult and extremely primitive trip to Faizabad. Our dear chauffeur had proved right when warning them; the roads had been almost unnegociable due to heavy snowfall…..
October 26: everybody had fallen ill (the microbes are flying through the house). Why? Had we caught cold, was it fatigue, or the food which had been too fat for us? Probably all three causes applied. Poor G. even had contracted pneumonia. We decided to postpone our trip to Nuristan with one day. S. and I went downtown, visited the post office and the bank again and this time the Kabul Hotel for a nice sandwich without fat! Then we met the others for an official Bouzkachi at which even the President of the Republic was present. There were separate compartments for the tourists, the military and the other men and women (of course also separated from each other). I tried my newly rented camera. In the evening we were busy organising our trip to Nuristan and sorting out our medical provisions. October 27: the microbes were still flying around and I decided to stay at home and in bed most of the time. At night we all dined in a nice restaurant in town.