It has been suggested that this blog didn't fully tell the story of what it's like to be here in Kabul, that I perhaps left out certain stories which might make certain readers nervous (Hi Mom!) or that the content may have been slightly sanitized.
Um, maybe a little.
The truth is, my time in Kabul really was largely mellow, safe and uneventful, so I really don't have a lot of exciting danger-stories to share. Plus, I wrote this blog as a way to describe the daily experience of life in Kabul for my friends and family (and assorted internet strangers). I was aiming to provide a bit of psychological comfort, helping my dear readers envision daily life here at Camp Cupcake. Dwelling on the rare negatives wasn't consistent with my objectives. But now that I'm not in Kabul anymore, I guess I could share the following:
Yes, it was a sad and scary day when I heard about the two US officers - including a Lt Col - who were shot execution-style in an Afghan ministry building. I'd never met either of the guys, but you bet I identified with them both. Definitely shook me up.
Yes, there was a day when I spent 90 minutes outside the gate in my body armor, holding a checklist and walking up to a steady stream of vehicles carrying Afghan officials and their armed colleagues. "Are you on the list, sir? OK, go on over there." Not my favorite Afghan activity, I promise. Plus, it was raining. And cold. And I'm not sure how helpful my armor and helmet would have been if a car had gone boom or if a rogue security guy decided I was a convenient target. But again - I only had to do that once.
Yes, we heard some very large, very close booms on April 15th. And lots of gunfire. I jumped once or twice, said a bad word or two, and put on my body armor and helmet in record time. Not the most fun way to spend the afternoon, and not a story I was in a rush to tell.
But that's about it. Honest. Most of my time truly was pretty much as I described it here - sometimes funny, sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes dull, sometimes lonely, sometimes frustrating and sometimes bad smelling. But if I focused mostly on the positives on this blog, well, that's because I focused mostly on the positives during the whole deployment. Also because there really weren't very many scary moments.