Where am I again?

One doesn’t normally think much about where one is, not in broad terms. I am in this village in this province… It’s just where I happen to be.

Occasionally, though, on a moment’s reflection, I’m struck by the country I’m in.

Sometimes it is when the first bucket of cold water pours over me as I wash by candle light; or looking up from another world of a book to return the greeting of an old man riding by on a donkey. Usually it is while on the road, with the sense of freedom of thought travelling brings, excitement mingled with fear, when some stunning new vista opens up before me.

Wherever, there are three phases to this sudden revelation. My internal monologue runs something as follows:

‘Bloody hell Charlie, I’m in Afghanistan’ [surprised and slightly taken aback]

‘What the bejaysus am I doing here?’ [incredulous]

‘Ahhhgggg, f**k me…!’ [starts giggling manically]

It’s good to be reminded every now and then that I am in a pretty remarkable place.


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