Day Twenty-three: My plans to secure a gym membership are entirely thwarted when suicide bombers blow up my prospective gym. Likewise, my plans to sleep in on my day off are destroyed, not by the initial explosion, which I manage to sleep through, but by the ensuing gunbattles. Some snipers head up to our roof but we’re not in the prime sniping location. One of the Afghan military takes refuge in our hotel momentarily-
Soldier: (enters lobby)
Hotel Employee: What are you doing? You’re a soldier! Get out there!
Soldier: You don’t have heat in here? (exits)
I accept it as a sign to put off my exercise regiment and spend the day smoking and eating cake.
Later on in the day Anandi, Abdullah, Nasr, and I go out for dinner and some live music. We stop by Safi Landmark / City Centre, and it looks as destroyed as it did on television. Back home, Abdullah donates a kevlar vest to the littlest MOI soldier outside.
Why my safety is usually ensured:
I attained status as Abdullah’s second wife early on here, when I started joining him and Anandi on excursions. It’s in my favor, and Abdullah used to be something of a Kabul cassanova, so it isn’t a stretch for his character.
I look Afghani, dress Afghani, stick to Afghani places, and move around with Afghans, so when the media says foreigners are being targeted, chances are, they’re not talking about me.