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February 1 , 2003

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Afghan driving notes: 1) Intercity roads make your vehicle shake, rattle, and roll. 2) Taxi drivers know best. If you get in a taxi and state your destination, the taxi driver will nod knowingly and drive. After 5 minutes he'll ask, "Where you want to go?" 3) Kids walk around your vehicle with incense burners to boost your luck - oh, they want a little money for this service.

Today we were all set to travel by taxi to Jalalabad until the hotel owners heard about our plan and stopped us - they said there was 100% chance we'd be robbed or worse. Being prudent travelers we listened to this advice and postponed our plans until we learned more. We discovered a full range of possibilities about safety on this road - from people who thought it was fine to others who predicted utter doom.

Kabul River, a trickle of its former self.
For the fashionable, the shawl and turban are "in."