Monday, October 23, 2006

Eid Mubarak

Sadly, my uncle passed away on Saturday morning. We are all mourning his passing. The family came together from all over and spent the weekend remembering his intelligence, love for Tom Jones and most importantly, love for his family.

Eid Mubarak. I wish you all peace and joy. May your fasts and prayers be accepted.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

dreams of blue rockets

There are daily missile attacks in Kabul. Afghans call missile attacks, 'rockets' and I'll be calling them rocket attacks because that is what has stuck in my head.

The most recent rocket attack was on Radio Mountain. Mountains ring Kabul, and one such mountain has Ariana Radio and Television on it. There are homes up and down the sides of the mountains. Squatters build these homes from mud and rock, because they cannot afford the $400,000 homes (in U.S. dollars).

A few nights ago, I dreamt about a rocket hitting a mountain in Kabul. The rocket glowed blue in the black night sky. It reminded me of the gentle colors of my little ponies. It hit the mountain but didn’t explode; it bounced back and hovered over my head, poised to explode. I woke up then.

I know, weird.

Up until now, my mantra has been, “Afghanistan is not as bad as Iraq.” And it’s starting to sound like Iraq, huh?

I don’t know what to do.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

"I'm being followed by a moonshadow, mOOnshadow."

Oh Brother Islam. It's a good thing that you're a peaceful Muslim b/c I would've thrown a hissyfit (but I have cancer! God Forbid). Brother Islam got deported in 2004 because his name was a match on some secret list they have somewhere.

"the deportation prompted Jon Stewart to quip, "We finally got the guy who wrote 'Peace Train."

This is the kind of crap that pisses me (and I imagine, other moderate Muslims) off. If the Homeland Security can't get this kind of stuff right, well, it also scares me.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Feeling better. I don't have hepatitis, still getting tests. My room is a mess though. I'll write more after I clean it. So, maybe I'll never write again.

Friday, October 13, 2006


This is a wheelbarrow I filled with all my dreams & my favorite clothes & now all I need is someone to help me push it.
Story People

Different Plans

I don't know how long I can do this, he said. I think the universe has different plans for me & we sat there in silence & I thought to myself that this is the thing we all come to & this is the thing we all fight & if we are lucky enough to lose, our lives become beautiful with mystery again & I sat there silent because that is not something that can be said.
Story People

Sometimes it's hard to know that there are different plans for me. Until I realize that there are different plans for all of us.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm not getting my cough checked out.

Well, hepatitis would be one diagnosis that would explain the hives and abnormal test results. (Dr.)

No, I don't want that. (me)

I can't help you there. We'll give you a shot in your butt and here's a prescription until we get the blood test results. We'll be taking all your blood right away, after much jostling in your itsy bitsy veins with a needle. (Dr.)

"Umm, hey, OUCH!" (me)*
*I know it's Ramazan but I embellished this conversation. And they're not lies, they're merely the equivalent of body glitter. Kinda weird but sparkly and fun.

I still have hives and was about to have a crying fit over the potential hepatitis diagnosis until I looked across the green lawn and noticed a red-haired woman, in head to toe black, receiving hugs. She was in the parking lot of a funeral home.

So, yeah, it could be worse and if I do have hepatitis, it's probably hepatitis A, which 'resolves spontaneously.'

And I got my rescheduled plane ticket. I'm looking at leaving at the end of the month, Inshallah.

Tomorrow, lunch with pushy former room-mate, Inshallah!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

All rather anti-climactic

After all the crying and just plain mopiness of yesterday, the radioactive iodine treatment was a bit of a let-down. The only slightly intimidating Star Trek aspect of it was that the pill was encased in this metal bottle and that was encased in another metal cabinet with danger signs on it. The sweet little lady (she looked so young), put on her gloves, pulled it out, took the top off of the little plastic bottle (the last layer of protection) and then handed it to me.

Then Bobah and I went to Chick-fil-A. He didn't eat (fasting) but I took it home and gobbled it up.

I don't feel any effect yet, other than my first bad bout of hives in a long time. But even that isn't so bad because Inshallah, I'll feel better soon. Thanks to everyone for their prayers, kind words and generally putting up with my hissy fits. I blame all my drama on my thryoid. You can blame all your drama on my thyroid too!

New blog, or rather, old blog of a person I met a few times and have now re-discovered her blog. Enjoy:

Monday, October 09, 2006

Development, Kabul and my not-yet broken heart

I wrote this a few weeks ago, while still in Kabul. I didn't post it because I was scared but sometimes you just have to speak out.

I’m taking advantage of my relative anonymity to rant and rave:

It’s getting worse here, as I’ve been saying. Allegedly, a suicide bomber was caught outside of my office (though, not in the news). Everyone, and I mean everyone, is worried. When you’re here though, it usually consists of,

Did you hear about-?
Yeah, that’s too bad.
I wish Karzai would do something.
That’s the police; you know they’re all thieves.
Well, Karzai’s brother down south is a thief, why would he do anything to stop the thieves?
It’s the Americans, the Americans are letting this happen.
They’ve got to have a deal going with his brother.

The fact that I’ve heard this conversation from internationals working for international organizations (working for U.S. organizations), local Afghans, and diaspora Afghans demonstrates the pervasiveness of this theory. And outright frustration.

There is so much corruption here. I think that everyone would be content with the current (lack of) development in Kabul, let alone in Afghanistan – if there was less nepotism, cronyism and corruption. Now, security in Kabul is getting worse and we’re all just waiting for a better alternative.

Where’s the political will to reform? I just don’t know. President Karzai was Shinwari’s (former Supreme Court Justice) main supporter. I don’t know why, but Parliament got rid of him – perhaps he didn’t have the political base in Parliament? Either way, it was a good thing.

But then, in President Karzai’s defense, who does he have to support him? The U.S. made a deal with these warlords in exchange for them (and not U.S. troops) securing the countryside, which made the same old players (that ruined Afghanistan after the Russians pulled out) gain strength. The warlords or Qomandants have no interest in more rule of law or democracy. They want it just peaceful enough so they can continue running their fiefdom. But not enough so they’ll be prosecuted for their work. That all ends up with President Karzai having to rule by consensus.

And then the Iraq war started. Stretching our (U.S.’) resources even more.

And don’t get me started on the U.S. and development (just read The Road to Hell by Maren). I know, there are plenty of great projects but there is no cohesiveness – no overall plan to fix up this country and a lot of the money goes into the pockets of over-priced consultancy firms or corrupt officials.

There are exceptions to this, we have underpaid, non-corrupt officials and internationals who work so hard and so sincerely that it takes my breath away. But damn, it’s not everyone and it’s slow going. So, my heart is strained but not yet broken.

I keep getting requests to, “Will you at least consider coming back to the U.S. to live?” No, I won’t, not yet. I do have a vacation planned (hey there, waffle house!) but not to move back. This is where I’m supposed to be, Inshallah. It’s hard, frustrating and heartbreaking – but what am I going to do there? I’ll be longing to be in Kabul. At least I can convince myself that I’m doing something to help, if only to bear witness. But I don’t know.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Taking my own advice

Gonna do some yoga and go to bed early. No more freak-outs.

A little overwhelmed

Maybe this blog should be called "Making a home with my thyroid." I'm a little overwhelmed with information about treatments, what to do and blah blah blah. There's so much information and I basically don't know what to do.

The Dr.'s office left a message saying that I do have Grave's disease and my liver tests are abnormal. "Take your treatment and then we'll check your liver again."

When was my liver involved in all of this?

I'm worried that I'm agreeing to do something that I'll ultimately regret. I've been researching on the internet and all I got from it was, have some broccoli.

Monday, October 02, 2006

welcome my sister!

I'm so excited! A new blog and it looks like it's by an Afghan-American!

Thanks Q!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I love the internet

Sharing just to share:

I told my mom that untreated hyperthyroid can lead to coma and her response was a huge GASP and clutching of the side of the seat. My response was, "I'm an idiot for telling you that." and then went on to tell her that in fact, if it's untreated for years and years and years. Excuse me while I go scratch my hives.

Well, I feel like I've become Debbie Downer (that link was for Chaoyang, who hasn't been commenting lately - did I scare you with my lies?) so I thought I would link to all the websites that I read on a regular basis (in addition to the stuff linked on the right). I didn't link to some blogs b/c I wasn't sure if they were private or not...


Television Without Pity
I found these through TWOP
Tomato Nation
AB Chao

Yeah, I live in Worcester
Pink is the New Blog - I'm a little ashamed of this one but it helps me keep up to date on pop culture while I'm in Afg.
Afghan Blog
Barely Legal - Wait, not what you think!
jesus' favorite
Book of Marvels
Sand gets in my eyes
The Croation Sensation
Daily OM
Fresh Yarn
Post Secret
Overheard in New York