Constipated Wall


“Madame, Madame,” he said with his Kiwi accent. “Please next time walk on this side of the wall.”

“What?” I am very confused as the Georgian soldiers pointed to step out of the car and wait over by this side of the wall. Usually, whenever we enter ISAF HQ (International Security Assistance Force Head Quarters military camp) off the dusty streets of Kabul our vehicle are checked at the entrance by Georgian soldiers.

Their military organization is constantly mocked by the international community as they barely speak English. They usually go to the stores in packs of twenty to purchase anything from cigarettes to an iPhone at the B&S stores or American PX, with an ambassador who speaks 45 words or less but can make his way through a purchase. Seriously, who are they going to call if the gate gets attacked? My guess is on no one knows. They also like to ask where they can find more women. I think they are looking for the whore houses, but most men here are.

This morning the gate opened with several guys pointing to Bin and Min (I know) to step out of the car. Two Nepalese drivers are certainly not Talibans, but because they are not part of NATO and the Georgian probably can’t tell the difference with TCNs, they have to go through a rigorous search, eye scans and finger prints included thank you very much. I’m late, I don’t want to walk in the mud with my Jeffrey Campbell’s knee high boots, yes even in a war zone I bring fashion and I’m fierce. You’d be surprised to see the selection of Gucci, Fendi’s, Louis Vuiton and vintage pieces the ladies have here. I have no time for this shit, but I’m not the one holding the riffle in my face, am I.

Rear view mirrors attached to long sticks check under our white Hiace for traces of bombs, this couldn’t be more contrary. Modern weapons, rudimentary ways to detect suspicious devices. As I am the glorious owner of a laminated Contractor badge with a security clearance highlighted by a red square around my face, I’m supposed to be subjected to a very quick search. Unfortunately, every time there is a new rotation, things seem to change into greater confusion; new soldiers arrive with new ideas, everyone thinks the last in post had terrible security procedures, makes new rules to assert their authority, changes the badge color scheme and priority, impose innovative ways to render entry nearly impossible, this chaos affects business transactions, millions of dollars are lost, I’ve even seen critical patient in ambulances turned away. A mess! Yesterday, I entered with ease, today my drivers and I are treated like Talibans. Now, you comprendo a little why I am seething and couldn’t care less about what he thought I should or shouldn’t do so I gave him my best left shoulder humph and walked away from him.

He catches up with me and blocks my way. “When you leave your vehicle,” he repeated in a slow manner identifying me as a mentally challenged person “you walk on that side of the wall.”  “This is the bad side.”


“All the good vehicles go on that side and the suspicious ones loaded with bombs go on this side. If you want to die with me on this side of the wall, it’s fine with me Madame.”

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