And so it happens that I'm heading back to Kabul. As expected, a lot had to be arranged last minute, meaning that I did not have my ticket from Istanbul to Kabul when leaving for Istanbul.
Last time, when obtaining my ticket to Kabul, I didn't set any constraints and received quotations for trips through Dubai. Now, having seen Dubai and not having been impressed, I wanted to fly through Istanbul, Baku or Frankfurt, in that order of preference. This would bring me to more interesting cities in less time and would also result in one transfer less, having to go through London, before heading to Dubai.
What was interesting now was that not only did I only receive a quotation for the trip through Istanbul, it was also significantly cheaper than the flight through Dubai. And my flight time was reduced. Now why didn't they give me this flight in the first place?
And, of course, my workload also suddenly increased immensely, just days before leaving.
Now, I will have to spent after-hours in Kabul, working on projects for Dutch clients. Convenient, because there still appears to be a total lock down in Kabul.
On that subject, I've been following what happened in Afghanistan over the past six weeks, while I was away, and I don't think it looks all that good. Kidnappings or attempted kidnappings, killings, bomb blasts, a mortar attack on the ISAF compound and more. Even though I have the advantage of looking like an Afghan (just during check-in in Istanbul, I was mistaken for an Afghan three times), it doesn't make me feel that much better. Everyone who was killed in the bomb attack on the mosque in Kandahar was Afghan.
Waiting at the check-in, I couldn't help but notice that every single passenger queuing up was male. Also, they were carrying surprising large amounts of building materials as luggage.