None of these are particularly brilliant photos, but they each symbolise something important about enduring well here. This first photo is Khristo and my son, at a small roadside kebab shop, just off Flower St. I used to eat at places like this all the time. Then I got busier, and some of these places closed down, and a hundred other things happened. Going there with Khristo reminded me of how much I like Afghanistan. The kebabs were delicious, the pilau was fragrant, the tea was hot. The place was warm and small and the owner was friendly. More than that, he was an ordinary Afghan: not someone I work with and am in a position of authority over; not some cop whom I am being pushed around by. It was a simple, relatively equal transaction, with no expectations other than those of a man buying food, and a man selling food. I really, really liked it, and I realised how few such simple, easy, human transactions like that I have these days. It was renewing.
Our daughter in the Christmas nativity play. She was the lead role and quite beautiful.
For Christmas, we got all creative and made toffees and chocolates in the shape of lego pieces. It was good to do Christmassy stuff. For anyone interested in how to make these, it is not hard: find it here.
Finally, walking to work this AM, I saw the local rubbish truck. While much of what I see happening does not represent real progress, I think you could say this does. A real system of rubbish disposal. Sure, they are not recycling – not in an official sense – and sure, the rivers and ditches are still choked with the trash of years, and no, there is not much civic pride, but three cheers for the garbage collectors.