Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Making a "Scene" at Kabul International Airport

I have no shame and make a dramatic scene filled with intense conflict everywhere I go. So last month when I flew into Kabul from Dubai I tried to help my local Afghan friend by sneaking his two bottles of wine into Afghanistan. When I reached customs and passed my luggage through the x-ray machine, a handsome and young Afghan officer pulled me aside and said, "Come here you are an Afghan and you cannot bring in alcohol here. I replied in Dari, "No, I'm a US citizen" and he immediately said, "Talk in Pashto" and I replied "Zeh Musulman sok nefrat larum" (I hate Muslim people) and then all hell broke loose as the officer's face turned red.

Another officer grabbed my passport said, "Where is your Afghan visa then? I grudgingly said again in Dari, "I don't have a visa since I was born in Afghanistan." He said, "Exactly, you are Afghan even if you have an American passport and lived most of your life abroad. As our argument grew louder, five more men encircled around me and the main guy said, "Be ashamed. We are all Afghans and Muslims and you drink?" Pointing to another officer main guy says, "Open his bag and take his liquor." I popped open my eyes at them and yelled and screamed, "No your all liars. 95% of Afghan men will sneak a drink of alcohol when no one is looking. You are the hypocrite Muslims who I can buy off with a bribe or now you plan to steal my 'property' and drink it yourself or sell it on the black market." He then replies, "You're so wild. How were you raised?" I then shouted, "Don't you know who I am. I'm a Professor." He then said, "I don't care. If you don't comply, I will throw you in Pul-e-Charkhi prison" and I replied, with one phone call, "I will throw your ass in Guantanamo Bay prison."

Finally, a KHAD (Afghan intelligence) comes to my rescue and says to the main guy to let me go. I responded, "Look how many wars we fought" and one guy responds "You were not here for any of the wars so keep your silence." I screamed louder "Look, I'm all alone in Kabul. After a long, brutal day of teaching, I need my sleeping medication to help me have sweet dreams." I walked away and just two days ago when I flew out I ran into the same main officer whose initials are M.T. and he laughed and said, "Do you remember me?" I said, "Yes, please excuse me for being impolite and I want to let you know that I love all Afghans and was mad by the way you pushed my buttons. If you would have asked nicely I would have invited you over to my house for dinner and we could have celebrated with opening of drinks." Then we introduce each other by name and M.T. asks me where I'm traveling to and then replies, "Thanks for the offer but I don't drink. But you have to follow our rules.

Can I do anything for you--'amr' (demand) or 'khidmat' (service)?" I responded, "No thank you jaan" but deep down inside I do wanted to tell him how I really feel about him. I could have flirted more and tell him he could punish me for my bad behavior or at least give my number but was too scared to share my feelings. A happy ending for now, but wouldn't it be great if this story could lead to an even happier 'fairy tale' ending?  

1 comment:

Gabrielle said...

would loved to have been there to see this happen