We flew back to Afghanistan a few days ago. The flight out of Perth was a long sleepless slog, but the flight into to Kabul from Dubai was a pleasure, and landing in Kabul was wonderful. Spring is here, and the air felt clean and soft. Not so clean that within a few hours we weren’t cleaning black gunk from our noses, but still, a lot cleaner than the aerosol crud we inhaled throughout winter.
The flight in was with Safi, the airline favoured by security men and diplomats and aidworkers. It has a higher safety reputation than the other contenders, one of which has just gone belly up, for falsifying black-box data after its aircraft smacked into a mountain side out of Kabul last year. The ratio of security men, diplomatic staff and NGO workers on Safi flight is about 90:5:1, and as the photo shows, there is a whole lot of toughness on these flights. The testosterone is thicker than Brie, and I have to be surreptitious in taking a photo, in case one of these guys takes umbrage and kills me with a single finger. Rachel wanders up and down the aisle, smiling to the security men, who are wrongfooted by such a little child, and diplomats look bewildered: there is a family with little children going into this country?
Sadly, the protests that have followed the Qur’an burning, along with other threats mean we have to drive even within our neighbourhood. But, it is great to be home.
Thats a whole lotta man there.