What can I say about Dubai? I think someone should invent a word to describe that place, because there is nothing else like it on earth. It's such a mixture of cultures, consumerism, and extremes. . . veiled women shopping at Gucci in a shopping mall with an indoor ski hill next to the tallest building in the world; UK tourists perusing gold jewelry designed in India at one of the oldest gold markets in the world just south of an island shaped like a palm tree; Starbucks signs in English and Arabic. I think you get the picture. It was a great place to get a little rest after sleeping on a plane for two nights, and we took some time to pick up some last minute things and eat some meals without having to worry about what future effects they might have.
And finally, Wednesday morning, we boarded our plane for Kabul. 2 1/2 hours later we landed and began the passport control/immigration process. It went surprisingly quick. We were able to go through the family/fast track line which is a lot faster as there are not many families entering the country. Our base manager, Mike, was waiting for us on the other side of the queue with our foreigner registration form. The only hiccup in our arrival was that the government official refused to accept my passport amendment with my name change. According to my visa and registration card, I am known by my maiden name. We don't foresee this being a problem, but I did have to fill out the form several times.
And then we were off to our new home. We live in a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment with another couple (Steve and Sari). It's a great place and we're all working together to make it feel more like home. Our living arrangement was the one thing that I was nervous about, and it has turned out to be a wonderful situation.
There is so much more to share, but I think this is enough for now. I don't want overload everyone with too much information on my first post!