Not there yet…

No, it didn’t happen. The High Commission for Registering NGOs Who Have Been Waiting A Long Time And Really Want To Get It Over With didn’t meet. They couldn’t get together all the requisite people and things: the Ministers and Deputy Ministers and Associates and assistants and crouching hairy assistants and a three toed sloth and a bear with five legs and a chicken egg with a gecko inside*. They will apparently meet next Thursday. So. More waiting.

And to add to today’s sense of failure and disappointment and concern, a rocket landed last night fairly close by, in Silo – about 3 km. Not a RPG, a rocket. It is a long time since I have heard that sound, the whining drone, then the crack-boom of the explosion. No one was killed and everyone is a bit mystified as to why (not that hard to figure out surely). What else? Two French NGO workers were kidnapped in Central Afghanistan. This is happening regularly. Not frequently yet, but more frequently. And I lost my temper with a small boy selling incense smoke in the bazaar – we were pulling in to stop and he hopped up to the window with his can of burning incense, which immediately filled the car. I asked him to go, told him I wouldn’t give him money, asked him again, politely, then started to wind up the window. He stuck his hand in and held it down (it is an electric window). Surprisingly strong, he kept holding it down and when I tried to push his fingers off, he would whip them away, then replace them and keep the window from winding. It became a joke to him and I could see he was enjoying punishing me for not giving him money. Fair enough, I guess, in a sense. Eventually, I got out of the car and clipped him on the back of the head. Not hard, but inside I was angry.

It is not difficult for my ugly side to come out here. It was far easier to think of myself as a controlled, patient, mannered, generous person, when no one begged from me, annoyed me persistently, when things worked. It is easy to be pleasant in a pleasant place. But the reality comes squeezing out when circumstances are tougher and unforgiving. And seeing my own ugliness reminds me of truths about my lack of redemption, weakness and ungodliness.

And, on top of all that there is a earthquake going on around me. Better finish this before the roof falls in



The incense boy, pre-whacking.


* the gecko thing actually happened. A gecko crawled up a chicken’s parts (how? why? surely it must have been a struggle?) and died (pathetic effort, gecko. you should have kept going to the brain, and taken the chicken over). Then an egg formed around the gecko. Some poor guy cracked open his morning hard boiled and found lizard, not egg. Google it if you don’t believe me.


6 thoughts on “Not there yet…

  1. re ‘the ugly side’ C.S.Lewis said:”When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right!…Good people know about good and evil: bad people don’t know about either.” So Phil, take heart..

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