Afghanistan – Day 1 – Kabul

Wednesday, 17 May 2006

My flight from Dubai is pretty much on time, despite the rumours about cancelled flights and the tales that UN staff are not allowed to fly Kam Air. Big deal, a US embassy guy I found myself next to in the check in line told me they weren’t allowed to fly Ariana Afghan. One of their flights left an hour earlier than ours. The Kam Air 737-200 was elderly, but looked well kept.

In Kabul I wander Chicken St, then and now the tourist centre of Kabul. Except there are far fewer tourists today. Rounding the corner of Chicken St I encounter the Mustafa Hotel, the very place we stayed in back in 1972 and reopened by the same family who ran it back then. And like a time-warped vision of the era two guys and a girl emerge from the front door, shouldering their backpacks and from their baggy pants and brightly coloured tops they could easily have come straight from the flower power years.

I shake my head and find myself back in 2006, post-Taliban and definitely high security.