We are finally out of the country. After 21 days. I’m sitting at the gate in Dubai typing this. It’s politically not correct to say, but when I was flying in to this filthy rich country shortly after 11.00 a.m. and I could see the well paved roads, the traffic, the high rises, I was just very glad to be back in “civilisation”.
We knew we could have trouble getting from the military terminal in Kabul first to the military main gate, which is a few kilometres down the runway, and then after passing through the security check point manned by the Belgian paras, getting onwards travel to Kabul International, the civillian part of the airport.
The first taxi I had called the previous evening, the KBR which runs inner base shuttles of course didn’t turn up at 5.30. I called the PAO’s mobile and Staff Sergeant Carmony answered half asleep. He promised to call KBR for us.
At 5.45 we were on our way to the main gate. I called our next taxi, gladly the guy from Safe Trip Kabul, I had talked to the evening before, answered straight away. He was already waiting. We walked the couple of hundred meters past the Belgian soldiers manning the check points.
Two ancient soviet built attack helicopters, the ones you know from Rambo III, just started flying low over the airport.
Zee picked us up in a red car and a green T-shirt. He said business was low these days and the situation in Kabul was getting worse. He told us about the deadly attack on the former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was bombed to death by insurgents who hid explosives in a turban yesterday evening.
From a roundabout onwards there was a traffic jam. Axel and I had to get out the car, were patted down. Got back in the car. Drove to the next check point, were patted down. Our luggage was screened. We got back in the car drove to the terminal. Said our goodbyes to Zee and paid him.
From then onwards our passports were checked three more times. We went through security twice more and stood in three different queues for another hour at least. We got on board of the Safi Air plane ten minutes after it was supposed to fly. This time the A230 was aircraft was in pretty good shape. After half an hour we were high up in the sky over Kabul.
We got on out Emirates flight from Dubai to Frankfurt. After three weeks of deprivation the cute stewardesses pampering me and smiling all along was rewarding experience. Emirates have a real good choice of music and playlists available.
I had a whole middle row of the middle isle for myself. Watched a movie, listened to Bill Withers, Lauren Hill and the Chili Peppers, typed away on a story about our encounter with the Mullah… Had a little to eat, slept a bit. I read a little in the XXL I bought at the PX in Bagram with 2Pac on the cover.
Not a worry in the world. We had gotten out alive.