Made it to Kabul!

A few quick observations:

Flying into the airport, I noticed that the giant graveyard of dead airplanes has been cleared out.

Giant billboards of Northern Alliance Commander Massoud are gone, but there is a huge memorial for him with a more tastefully small picture in the front. When I was getting ready to leave in ’03 I was told that this was about to be built and rumors were going around that it would soon be blown up.

Traffic was horrible and crazy in ’03 but now there are thousands more drivers on the road. The crazy driving would be scary except that you can’t go faster than 5-10mph. I’m amazed at their reflexes.

Lots of new “palaces” intermixed with ruins or mud brick houses. There never was any zoning, and now there are lots more new buildings.

Didn’t see many women on the street, but still fewer than half of them were wearing burkas. Saw several women in Iranian chadors in Kabul for the first time. Mostly the women wear large or medium sized scarves. I’m sure this is different in different parts of town.

Had some interesting meetings today that I’ll fill you in on next time.

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