Sunday, June 27, 2010

Share-now, Kabul

I have put some photos from a nice walk around Share-now, including the park here.

Former USSR

Tomorrow I will be in Russia - the country I have most wanted to visit for decades. My earliest memory of anything Russian was a school teacher in England (which means before I turned eight) frightening us with descriptions of Russians' neighbors, families and teachers(!) betraying them to the secret police. The only other thing I remember knowing about Russia was that my mother's 'Zenit' camera was made in Russia.

I think my next impression came from the 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series. Of course I remember celebrating Paul Henderson's winning goal for Canada but some associated TV documentaries about Russia also enchanted my eye. I also began to understand and yet deny that Russia and Communism was living doublespeak. The Red Army hockey team were 'amateur' but were paid to do nothing other than win at hockey. And I began to get confused about civil rights.

My admiration for Communism grew until I visited Ukraine in (about) 1998. Although I didn't visit Chornobyl it was that disaster, with its institutionalized manslaughter that finally turned my head and heart off Communism - as I realized that Communism does not automatically consider the individuals above the State (which is its whole point). My soul was saved by the simultaneous discovery that Capitalism has its own faults. (I now embrace Social Democracy.)

As well as visiting Ukraine I have been to Azerbaijan and a variously Communist-influenced countries like Afghanistan, Angola, Cuba. But until now I have never been to the former Communist Motherland. I anticipate loving it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Asia 2010 preparation

This gentleman working on the Kabul sidewalk sewed Canadian flags onto my backpack and knapsack.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Asia 2010 - who can I meet?

I am counting down the days to my big Asian holiday. Here is my current itinerary, which includes my decades-old dream of riding the Trans Siberian Railway:

Monday June 28
Fly Kabul >>> Moscow >>> Saint Petersburg

Friday July 2
Train Saint Petersburg >>> Moscow

Wednesday July 7
Train Moscow >>>

Thursday July 8
>>> Yekaterinburg

Friday July 9
Train Yekaterinburg >>>

Monday July 12
>>> Irkutsk

Tuesday July 13
Diving in Lake Baikal

Wednesday July 14
Train Irtusk >>> Ulan-Ude

Thursday July 15
Train Ulan-Ude >>>

Sunday July 18
>>> Vladivostok

Wednesday July 21
Ferry Vladivostok >>>

Thursday July 22
>>> Dong Hae (South Korea)

Seoul, Busan, Cheoangji, Jeju...

Thursday July 29
Fly Seoul >>> Bangkok????

Friday July 30
Fly Bangkok >>> Yangon (Myanmar)
Fly Seoul >>> Bangkok >>> Yangon

Saturday July 31
Yangon >>> Bagan

Mount Poppa, Mandalay, Yangon...


Will any of my friends be in any of these places?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

TV Hill June 2010

Because I am unemployed I am free to make my own sensible security decisions here in Kabul. Yesterday I walked up 'TV Hill', chatting with the children and guards and enjoying the panorama. More photos here.

I will be very impressed if anybody can identify this beverage.