Loulou d'Aki -- Kabul: Long, Long Days and Quiet Nights
We had planned to arrive in spring but our visas were delayed and events here and there came in the way so when I finally landed in Kabul,(two days ahead of Ghazal, the journalist I was working with) it was the middle of June and the end of (holy month) Ramazan.
As I crashed on top of my (temporary) bed, I was too excited to sleep, listening to the sounds of an unknown city waking up and watching the light shine in on my golden-green room through a window covered by protective film.
I could not go out and explore yet, not before a safety brief over lunch and before finding myself a trustable driver. Everything seemed to be complicated, unpredictable, fascinating and dusty. Time definitely followed a different speed and eyes appeared to be all on me as I took out my camera. Through the viewfinder I spied (I saw) men watching other men, staring back at me.
Days were (oh so) long and bright, no matter how early I woke up it didn't seem to be early enough. The good light was reduced to a couple of hours a day, after dawn and before dusk and people seemed to be awake at all hours. I was (heartbroken and) suffering from insomnia. Many quiet nights I would walk around in the private garden below, befriend the driver and night watch Aziz who would sleep outdoors with his laptop, on which he would watch movies or chat on facebook. Some mornings he would bring me mangos since the fruit store was off safety walking limits, other times he would give me clearance for a rare sunrise walk alone.
Despite its complications and hopelessness, Kabul was a marvel to me and I promised myself to return in autumn when days grow short and nights are still quiet.
-- Loulou d'Aki
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