21st August 2009, Kabul
Finally, I'm back in Afghanistan and enjoying my first few days in Kabul. I honestly didn't know that I would be back so soon...ok, I lied because I think maybe I did plan to do so sometime before 2009 makes an exit! :D
Anyway, after visa hassles, bummed flights, expensive overseas calls, stressful days and nights later, I finally found myself on a flight from Beijing to Urumqi (Xinjiang) and a connection to Kabul. That is currently the best connection for those living in China without having to go through a third country. Don't ask me why Urumqi, of all the places, but it is an odd choice and the Afghan national airline flies there once a week. Another airline, Kam Air, just started its Kabul-Urumqi route only to have its inauguration flight turned back by the Chinese authority en-route with no explanation except for a ‘possible bomb alert’! Isn’t life full of zeal and fun?!
20 August - Election Day
Well, I arrived to the eerily quiet streets of Kabul and no incidents were reported except for one shoot-out in the morning. The low turnout by voters was a disappointment for almost everyone concerned and but not surprising considering the fact that the Talibs threatened voters with violence… Anyway, here are some photos and I did get my 15 mins of 'fame' and rub shoulders with presidential candidate, Abdullah Abdullah. He's running against current president Kazai and they both just declared victory... Oh, I neglected to mention that the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan just started so that means no water and food for most of the day. *sigh*