Bombs and band-aids

I was sitting at home reading about the failures of security sector reform in Afghanistan this Saturday morning when there was the sound of a large explosion not far off in the city centre.

Over the last few days, one year on from the bombing of the Serrena Hotel and with a couple of threat warnings doing the rounds, we have jokingly been taking bets on when the next ‘spectacular’ attack would be. At the time of writing I don’t know how spectacular this one was.

Our cook – a friendly if rather glum woman – and myself went into the garden to look for a plume of smoke to tell us where it was but couldn’t see anything. A few minutes later it was on the local radio; somewhere near the German embassy, but no other details.

She cut her hand and asked me for a plaster. As I rummaged around for one she wearily commented on how troubled Afghanistan is. ‘Yes’, I agreed absently, putting the plaster on her finger, ‘so many problems.’ ‘But you have a passport’ she replied, ‘you can leave. I don’t have a passport. So many problems.’

‘Yes’ was all I could say. And thank you, Roqia, for the analogy: we come, read about these problems without truly experiencing and understanding them, make a few positive noises anyway, put a band-aid on whatever we can, then withdraw to a safe distance.


2 Responses to “Bombs and band-aids”

  1. ash Says:

    it’s incredibly eye opening…

  2. Jonathan Pan Says:

    That’s sad..

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