Afghanistan – Days 13 & 14 – KabulTuesday, 30 May 2006
My visit to Afghanistan has been such smooth sailing it’s almost inevitable that things should go astray right at the end. On my final full day I’d planned to visit two museums, drop in at the British Embassy and go up to one of the hills overlooking the town for the view.
The OMAR Mine Museum is every bit as fascinating and horrifying as I’d expected, what wonderful ingenuity went into these devices to rip children’s arms or legs off. And what a wonderful combination of stylish design (as you’d expect those neat little Italian child-size mines are the winners when it comes to elegance and taste) and crude practicality (the Russian mine packed with a thousand pieces of rusty ‘chopped rod’ is bound to make a nice mess of anybody who happen to be nearby when it explodes).
A couple of hours later I’m about to step out of British Embassy when I’m suddenly hauled back inside and told to keep my head down. An American army truck has ploughed into a row of taxis and in the accident and ensuing riot 11 people die. I sit around the embassy for six hours watching the local TV news and trying to work out what the hell is going on. So I never get to the resurrected Kabul Museum or the lookout point although on my final morning I do go in search of a Taliban-era Titanic wedding cake. But that’s another story.