The Taliban & The Ice Cream Enemy

THE topic of conversation here is Tuesday’s big Taliban attack. Nine bad guys driving Afghan Army vehicles and disguised as Afghan soldiers attacked a government compound to free 10 of their friends, all prisoners who were being transferred to a courthouse to stand trial on a range or charges, including planting roadside bombs. They were all wearing suicide bomb vests – but only two of them put the vests to use. Death toll right now is up to 53, and there’s conflicting information about whether the 10 prisoners are on the loose (in news here the Taliban says they’re free; government says they’re dead).

It’s one of the worst insurgent attacks in 10 years, and the Afghans we’re working with are visibly shaken by what such a large-scale attack says about the strength of the Taliban movement. “This is exactly how it started last time,” our translator told us, referring to the lead-up to the 1996 Taliban takeover of Kabul.

The area where it happened – Farah Province – is about as far away from us as you can get in Afghanistan. Kabul is here in the eastern part of the country, and Farah is way off to the west. Still, the reverberations are being felt here. For the first time today our car was stopped by military police, and I was asked to show my passport. And not just once; we were stopped twice. The driver told me that he hasn’t been stopped in 3 years.

Some good news here at the house… One of two things has happened: (1) the 50 chunks of lamb that have been hanging by the window outside my bedroom for the past two weeks are no longer emitting the questionable “am-I-old-meat-or-am-I-death” odor; or (2) I’m adapting well to my surroundings. Either way, told that this lamb jerky is a delicacy that can only be afforded by the wealthy, I’m looking forward to trying some when it’s removed from its makeshift clotheslines and no longer looks like we’ve engaged in some satanic ritual.

How much is that lamb-y in the window???

What’s that sound I hear?? An ice cream cart that’s NOT looping the Happy Birthday song? It can’t be! Yes, this is the Für Elise cart! Now it’s time for the Titanic-themed cart to track us down… As the wise director of “Kabul – A City At Work” said, “The filmmaker’s true Afghan enemy is the ice-cream men whose hand-pushed carts patrol every avenue and alleyway of the dusty capitol from dusk ’til dawn.”

One comment on “The Taliban & The Ice Cream Enemy

  1. Great combanation for coloring your story…. lamb jerky….each country has its own tradition..lamb jerky Is delicious but not healthy but it worth to try it

    Best regards

    Iqbal Sapand
    Emmy Eward winning producer
    Afghanistan

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