Saturday, 25 April 2009

Friday 24th April

Sarah's first posting is below..... Paula

Once again find myself sitting at Dubai Terminal 2 awaiting flight to Kabul, UK time 0238! Those long haul flights seem cruelly designed to hold you confined in a tube, unable to escape an unhealthy inundation of thoughts and for some reason I always feel forced to assess my life as I travel the time zones alone ...and isn’t always comfortable!

As I take off from Heathrow a fight breaks out between a man and woman beside me...they have been but 2 minutes in the air and have never met before, but exchange vile language and tempers boil up and explode about the angle of a seat.......and I think perhaps it is not so surprising that wars break out ....

Dubai still holds its bleak record for me of being the loneliest place on the planet....teaming with people from every nation and yet as empty at heart as anywhere. Millions of people in transit ,a collision of cultures , thousands of lost souls like busy ants, saving money to send home to dependent relatives across the world. One giant sacrifice, severed from homelands and families so far away.

An “interesting “stop over hotel....I now know why it was so much cheaper than all other hotels I could find!! Arrived v late and walked into a bizarre atmosphere—no women, music blaring from all corners of the hotel. To pay my bill, I was led along seedy corridors and into a darkened room. A woman in a canary coloured sari was singing on a dimly lit stage and behind her ,like startled birds, a row of Indian women huddled against the wall .Adorned in gaudy saris , faces painted like Russian dolls, lined up like plastic targets at a fairground –barely out of childhood, they stood exposed to the tables of leering men. Into this scene, I was led, right in front of the stage, to the corner of the room and a bar where they dug out a credit card machine which failed to operate. And so was led back to Reception where I had to part with precious cash , my mind lingering on the fate of those poor young girls. Firmly chained my door and snatched 2 hours sleep which was cruelly punctuated by the fire alarm going off as someone lit up in the lift!

Now safe in Kabul and so wonderful to be back. As I put first steps on the tarmac I always stop and look around me at the mountains of Kabul. Hamid here at the compound , an ever faithful friend ,and greets me with a cup of green tea with cardammon and an irrepressible smile.

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