All Roads Lead to Afghanistan

Last October I spent a week in Washington, D.C., visiting friends and family. Although I took many pictures in the area, I neglected to take any of my gracious hosts or their puppies or my friends, including one I hadn’t seen since 1985. So I’m afraid pictures of food and tourist attractions will have to do.

D.C. is a food mecca, in my opinion, especially in the suburbs. Thirty years ago, when I was working in Arlington, Virginia, you could get things like Turkish food there that are still difficult to find in Denver. Todd and I were staying in Reston, not too far from a strip mall that had an Afghan restaurant, at least one Indian restaurant, pho, and I can’t remember what else.

I had to try the Afghan restaurant, Charcoal Kabob, of course. I had a lamb kabob on naan with mint chutney. Charcoal Kabob, naan, lambNothing too unusual. But then there was this poem on the wall. Charcoal Kabob, Afghanistan

I’ve been wanting to travel to Afghanistan, despite all the dangers, for years. Before 9/11, in the period between the Russian and US occupations when few people in this country were paying any mind to the graveyard of empires, I heard of the Taliban atrocities against women (and other groups) via feminist organizations. I was glad of the US invasion, though I’m not so glad about the way it has played out over the years. I’ve read a couple of books, such as Woman Among Warlords by Malalai Joya (who complains bitterly about the US cozening of warlords, whom she calls war criminals), and The Places In Between by Rory Stewart, so that makes me an expert, right? And I live in Colorado, the home state of the founder of Mountain2Mountain, Shannon Galpin, who is currently collecting donations for the Afghan men’s and women’s cycling teams.

Charcoal KabobSo of course I should go. And drink some more Ayran yogurt drink with these guys.

Travel desire is a funny thing.