The Final Countdown

I am listening to Europe’s anthem, ‘The Final Countdown’. One of those semi apocalyptic sounding songs that people like to play loudly at certain parties, while punching the air with their fists. I am not sure why it is appealing to me, except that I remember it as a song that used to get played here, in Afghanistan, in the clandestine parties we used to have during Taliban years. In those days, the curfew was at 8pm, so parties would start at 6. There was no alcohol, except for the occasional vodka the Red Cross used to bring in, so we’d sit around drinking Sprite and Mirinda. Then, at 7.45 we farewell each other, and trundle home in the cold, dark of a Northern Taliban winter, in time for the 8pm radio check. One night, a team member failed to answer his radio call, and so at 9pm, in the pitch black I had to go rouse a taxi and cross town, going through several check points and having too many guns shoved in my face, to ensure he and his wife were ok.

Here, now, winter is coming on. It is dark by 6pm and the nights are cold. The kids complain at their nightly wash time, as I squirt them with the chill water. There is so little electricity that the water in the boiler is warmed only every few days, and none of us seem to use the shower at the right time to get any of it.

If I seem subdued, it is the combination of the still worsening security and the nearing winter. Time to draw a deep breath.


Ice seller in the street near the Lion’s Gate mountain. There will be more ice before long.


3 thoughts on “The Final Countdown

  1. I wish I could do something to help or to cheer you up mate, life in Kabul sounds more and more depressing!

    Turns out my brother Alan knows Genardi (sp?) they go to the same church. He, Alan, told me Genardi had been to visit you.
    Small world.

    Take care

  2. May the warmth of God’s hope melt the ice that threatens to descend upon your heart! You sound like you are in the same type of funk that assailed Elijah in his “cave” experience. I posted a poem I wrote when I was feeling tired and weary of serving God in a difficult place, after reading about the “cave” depression. You’re welcome to read it. Maybe it will speak to your heart in some way :0)

  3. Thanks Sojourner. I am bracing myself for this winter. I have realised, as I have gotten older, that I just need to accept certain things about myself, and in this case that means getting out of Kabul for a while in the middle of winter. I’ll read the poem.

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