I went for a walk this morning in the city and it was nice. Our servant, M, advised me against it. I was so irritated that I commented on E’s blog about this and didn’t see the response until after I came back from my jaunt. I can’t live in this city if I can’t even walk out by myself during the day. I called H, a family friend, and he said not to worry about it, to go ahead.
So, I did. It was no big deal but I was nervous. I covered my face when I saw groups of Afghan men but most didn’t say anything. I walked around for about an hour and a half. I bought nail polish remover, some chocolate and breakfast stuff (Nutella!) and looked around for pantyhose and thin scarves…
I stuffed a number of ten afghanis in my pocket and I slipped it to beggars, when asked. You have to do it quickly and walk away or dirty hands that grab at your sleeves and murmur, ‘please please’ surround you. It’s not a pleasant experience.
I dropped some money on the ground and a man yelled “Khala, Khala” I ignored him but he was persistent, when I finally turned around, he handed me my 20 Afghani bill. I thanked him and gave it to an elderly lady who was begging and told her that the khairat (charity) was from him.
Security is so hard to gauge here. I panic when reading the security notices from the government or listen to friends who only travel by car and then get frustrated with my caution when I see local women walking around in shorter shirts than I would ever dare wear outside (their clothes are still conservative.). I can’t live my life in hiding. I don’t go out too late at night; I stick with people I know well, but I can’t, just can’t live a life where I can’t walk around. Well, I can – I don’t want to.