J2E-Afghanistan3 – The journey to Kabul took two days, but we’re here, and have already sampled the tasty and healthy Afghan cuisine at Sufi Restaurant and Gallery. The name honours the great Sufi poet, philosopher and mystic Muhammad Rumi, who is referred to as Persia’s Shakespeare. As the occasional NATO helicopter thundered overhead, we drank fresh mint lemonade and watermelon juice and ate pumpkin, eggplant, chickpea, rice and meat dishes, served under a huge open canopy, all the while seated on luxurious, hand-woven carpets.
The city is extremely dusty and bears the unmistakable signs of ongoing conflict, with police and military visible on street corners and armed private security personnel protecting hotels and businesses. There are very few women on the streets and you see fathers shepherding their small children—girls and boys—through the potholed, gravelly streets.