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January 22, 2003

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We woke up without an idea of what to see. We sat in bed, huddled underneath our carpet, and watched our frosty breath. Without a map, a guide, or a book we had to reconnoiter on our own. We ascended to the hotel roof for a look at Herat. Minarets, mosques, and an old fortress broke the low skyline of mud brick homes. People's clothes splashed color against a backdrop of muddy roads and dun colored buildings. Women wore light blue burqas; the men wore frocks and turbans. We left our hotel and became walking entertainment for every person on the street.
The Taliban forced every woman to wear head-to-toe outfits, mostly light blue, called burqas. The new warlord that controls Herat, Ishmail Khan, insists on the same dresscode.
We shop for local clothes to disguise ourselves as Afghans, hopefully an effective crowd control.
You don't have to be Michael Jackson to have an entourage follow you around in Afghanistan.