Oh, yes! When you see many white UN 4x4s, dusty roads, lots of soldiers, security forces armed to the teeth, you know you are in Afghanistan.
Leaving Urumqi, I can't help but feel a little queasy about the trip. Sure, many journalists who has gone before me had survived and brought back many great photos and stories but somehow this being my first brought butterflies storming in my gut.
I don't know where the Afghans train their pilots but mine pulled flying stunts that would put any flying acrobatic teams to shame! I never knew a passenger jet can make such sharp turns!
Kabul is exactly as I envisioned: dusty, pockmarked, many talib-lookalike, and lots of men with guns. Embassies look more like fortresses than a diplomatic compounds with layered blockages, heavily fortified gates, concertinas and armed guards. The money here is the Afghanis or greenbacks. People are really friendly although one can never be too careful. However, I have faith in people and if someone's going to do you in it would be pretty obvious.
Tomorrow will be my first full day in Kabul and I will be off exploring the local markets...