A Gathering in Kabul




place foreigner connection (2
flag run over run/ran/run (2)
busy sneakers apparently
crazy hang out pomergranate
dude daylight speak/spoke/spoken
wow fitting think/thought/thought
gate show (2) amusement
sure intense ID (identification)
allow crowded amusement park
local probably) take it with a pinch of salt
hijab translation take/took/taken
stay right (5) wear/wore/worn
enjoy properly surrounded
weird explain lose/lost/lost (3)
pray watch (2) as far as I can see
hope packed (2) dive/dove/dove
board healthy meet/met/met
guy bologna heavy/heavier/heaviest
pinch flagpole speak/spoke/spoken
crazy hurry up stand/stood/stood
media answer (2) find/found/found
crowd complain interview (2)
bit (2) delicious made it (2)
order (2) take his time


Video (1:30 to 14:00)




I think it’s the place to be if you’re a Taliban, actually. But every time I been up there, I’ve seen foreigners. Any foreigner are tourists; they’ll probably be there. I’m sure we’ll see some other tourists there because there’s more tourists coming now.

The flag is up today last week and last Friday the flag wasn’t up. But it’s up.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Okay, walking up here; we’ll get run over. This way. Oh God it’s packed. It’s very busy, like last time. I don’t know how I’m going to get past.

Where’s Stefan? Get that bike up there. Look at these sneakers. What are they doing? It’s crazy!

Wait! Holy sh**. Crazy. It’s crazy. Oh my God. We are going to be run over.

Local Afghan Driver: “How are you?”
Emma, Tourist: “Good. How are you?”
Local Afghan Driver, 2: “How are you?”
Emma, Tourist: “Good how are you?”
Local Afghan Driver, 2: “Fine.”

Dudes, wow it’s so busy. So as you can see this is where the Taliban comes and hangs out on a Friday.

Now getting through the gate we’re gonna ask for ID. It’s actually quite cold. I’m going to put this away now because they’re gonna ask for ID.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

You can have a cup of tea; they have pomegranates up here. All right the big flag is up. The last time I was here in the daylight was when I first came here in August. So it’s only fitting that I make my last day here.

Today well actually yesterday . . .

Local Man. “Hi.”
Emma, Tourist: “How are you?”

Some people speak English; some don’t.

So yesterday I heard saw on the news, something showed me that women are no longer allowed to go into parks, amusement parks in Kabul.

And I take things with a pinch of salt of I hear in the western media. But I asked my friends and they said yes it was true. I asked a local who has connections why the reason why.

And apparently the reason why is because they weren’t wearing their hijabs properly. So I don’t feel right staying here enjoying myself, doing things that I could that other women can’t do.

It just feels weird right now, so that’s one of the reasons I’m leaving. I’ll explain more later.

Praying. I don’t want to lose Stefan because there’s hundreds of people here. Holy crappy. Taliban Central, as far as I can see.

I don’t want to walk over there by myself look they’re all up on the um old swimming pools the diving boards. Everywhere.

Stefan has a crowd around him; he’s hoping to try and get an interview. Everybody comes here on Friday — I don’t want to walk around here by myself though . . .

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Emma, Tourist: “Hello!”
Local Boy: “Hello.”
Emma, Tourist: “Hello, how are you?”
Local Boy: “I’m fine, thanks.”
Emma, Tourist: “What’s your name?”
Local Boy: “My name is Umar.”
Emma, Tourist: “You learn English at school?”
Local Boy: “Yeah.”
Emma, Tourist: “Yeah, you speak good English very good.
Bye; nice to meet you.”

All right I’m gonna keep walking here. It’s so weird here like you just see everybody walking around . . . young guys with the heaviest machine guns or there’s guys with cameras.

Young Local Man: “Hi, how are you?”
Emma, Tourist: “Good. How are you?”

I don’t know where’s Stephanie is.

Emma, Tourist: “What you got up there?”
Vendor, Hawker: Oh bologna.”

Emma, Tourist: “It’s a baloney salad for food yeah.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

So I’m just gonna walk over here.

Afghan Teen: “Hello.”
Emma, Tourist: “Hello. How are you?”
Afghan Teen: “I’m five thanks. What’s your name?”
Emma, Tourist: “Emma; what’s your name my name?”
Afghan Teen: “My name is Faisal.”
Emma, Tourist: “Faisal. How old are you?”
Afghan Teen: “I’m healthy . . . I am healthy.”
Emma, Tourist: “You’re healthy?” That’s very good.”
Afghan Teen: “It’s good.
Emma, Tourist: “I’m glad. Goodbye I’m glad you’re healthy.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

There’s a pomegranate man. All right so there’s the giant flagpole.

Local Boy: “How are you?”
Emma, Tourist: “Good. How are you?”

Everybody with their professional cameras out.

Emma, Tourist: “Hello.
Local Man: “Hello. How are you?”
Emma, Tourist: “Good. How are you?”
Local Man: Good. And where are you from?”
Emma, Tourist: “Scotland.”
Local Man: “Scotland.”
Emma, Tourist: “Yes.”
Local Man: “How are you?”
Emma, Tourist: “Very good thanks.”

Local Man: “Here in Afghanistan it’s very beautiful.”
Emma, Tourist: “Yes, Afghanistan is very beautiful. Yes I like Afghanistan.”
Local Man: “Afghanistan is my country.”
Emma, Tourist: “It’s your country. Yes.”
Local Man: “Yes, Afghanistan is great.”

Emma, Tourist: “Okay yes, it’s a video.”
Local Boy, 2: “What’s your name?”
Emma, Tourist: “Emma. What’s your name?”
Local Boy, 2: “My name is Savan.”
Emma, Tourist: “Oh how old are you?”
Local Boy, 3: “Ten years old.”

Alright, I’m getting surrounded here.

Photographers. So you’ve got all these young professional photographers, that are around twelve, with the cameras.

All right, I’m getting surrounded here.

Local Boy: “Where are you from?”
Emma, Tourist: “Scotland. I’m from Scotland.”
Oh my God! Holy s***!

Local Man: “You come with me!”

It’s him again. Oh my God that was crazy. These kids.

I don’t know where Stefan. It’s crazy. This is mental.

I’m allowed to stand here and wait for Stefan. I wish Stefan would hurry the hell up. I saw Muhammad and he’s gonna go find him. but I’ve tried to call him like five times and he’s not answering his phone and I can’t be up there because too many crowded people come around.

So that one told guy told me to stand here; now somebody’s going to complain that I’m watching them pray or something. I don’t know. Stefan.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

All right I made it down the hill going into this restaurant Bukhara. So that was a bit intense up there; thankfully I mean a friend of mine was up there at the same time and the issue was that they did not want you speaking to the Taliban without having a translator. They were worried the things would get lost in translation.

I guess I don’t know but it was I was standing on my own for ages waiting on Stefan who was taking his sweet ass time.

So now it’s dinner time. Last dinner I’ve eaten in this place before.

So this restaurant is beautiful. It’s got carpets. The lights. I’ve been in here before. I’ve had food in here before it’s really nice. And the food is delicious and I know exactly what I’m having: mantoo. They do juices also, looks like it. Anyway I think I might get a pomegranate juice. So it’s really nice here. Just um near my Hotel Charlotte area so here’s what I ordered.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


Afghanistan. In the beginning, a woman was riding a subway in New York City. True or false? Was she talking about a business meeting with business people?

Pakistan, Bangladesh. At the gathering place, were there lots of horses, mules, camels, donkeys?

Iran, Persia. Was the place deserted or crowded? Were they carrying sports bags?

Tajikistan. Everyone was there: men, women, children, families. Is this right or wrong?

Uzbekistan. Were the people nice and friendly, or hostile, cold and mean? Did they speak to Emma in Persian, Arabic or Turkish?

Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan. Was everyone dressed in jeans, sneakers, jackets?

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait. When Emma asked a young person, “How old are you?” Did he say, “I’m fifteen years old?”

East Turkestan, Xinjiang. Emma is an American. Is this correct or incorrect? Did they talk about politics, history, economics, sociology, psychology?

Babylon, Mesopotamia, Iraq. Was everybody interested in music, singing and dancing?
India, Kashmir. I have visited Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Egypt. Yes or no?

Turkey. What are some popular or favorite places in your town or city?

Syria, Lebanon, Jordan. Are there places that only men or women hang out?

Israel, Palestine. Are people curious about foreigners, they are indifferent toward foreigners or they don’t like foreigners?

Egypt. What might happen in the future?

Comments are closed.