Things haven’t been the same around home since My Friend left, a key staff member at my hotel. He was a vital component to interests near and dear to my heart, like breakfast. I don’t really know what My Friend’s real name is. There was a Japanese woman around for a few days who has been coming to Afghanistan since 1996, and one time she called him Hussaini, but I never heard him introduce himself as anything other than My Friend.
At first, none of us took My Friend’s alleged departure to the south seriously. “He’s been saying that for two years,” Abdullah said. Still, I threatened to hobble him, and Ged and I discussed some sort of captivity plan. Eventually My Friend escaped anyway. As a former teacher, he had to fulfill several more contracts before he could receive his pension. They sent him to Kandahar along with ten other teachers, perhaps Helmand and Uruzgan to come. I haven’t really been able to secure a breakfast since, and the days of two cups of coffee in the morning are long gone.
Above: My Friend gleefully shows us his plane ticket, as we all voice our disapproval. “I’ll take a picture in case you get kidnapped,” I offer. “Okay,” My Friend says. “Thank you.”