Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bomb Blast in Kabul

Afghani security are quickly on the streets looking down towards the blast
Wednesday April 17, 2013, 8:41am...I'm standing on the balcony of the Kabul residence where I've lived for the past 4 weeks, thinking about Boston, thinking about home and friends and how odd it seems that tragedy can strike in such a beautiful and serene city on such a harmless day...when suddenly a blast from only 100 yards away shakes me so strongly that the coffee mug in my hand falls out of my grip, snapping me back to reality.  I'm in Afghanistan.  A bomb exploded on our own Darul Aman road and chaos has ensued.  Quickly the Afghani security forces are on the scene, all traffic is stopped and crowds are beginning to gather while smoke is billowing up from the building just four houses down the street.  Gun shots are then heard and those on the street begin running away from the incident.  I don't dare leave the safety of our home and stay perched on our balcony numb, watching the surreal scene unfold as I would footage on CNN, chaos occurring somewhere else in the world instead of right outside our own front gate.  Someone once compared being in Afghanistan to treading water in the middle of the deep and dark ocean.  The sharks are out there somewhere and you just pray they don't see you.  Here on this beautiful Wednesday morning I've caught a glimpse of my first dorsal fin.

Still shaking I eventually retreat into my bedroom, sit on my bed and try to calm down.  In all my years of traveling to these types of countries it's my first and closest experience of how fragile the day to day life here is.  The "old man", our housekeeper comes upstairs and tells me it's okay.  It was merely a bomb in some garbage meant for an Afghani police truck.  Nothing to worry about.  As I looked into his calm elderly eyes I suddenly realized just how different our two worlds are.  Two bombs in Boston is international news, a tragedy that resonates throughout our country and beyond and makes me ache for home, making the final ten days of Kabul seem like an eternity.  While here in Afghanistan it's par for the course.  Nothing to worry about.  Within 20 minutes life is back to normal.  Traffic is moving, people are walking down the street going about their business and my translator arrives barely acknowledging what has just happened.  It probably won't even make news back home.  A bomb in Kabul, no shit.  It's Afghanistan!

As I write this I grab a new cup of coffee and settle in to the work I still have ahead of me.  Flashes of images from the Finish Line in Boston are in the forefront of my mind.  The only difference is I now have a sound to associate with the pictures.  The booming noise of hatred, intolerance and disruption of all I hold sacred.

Afghanis looking on as all traffic is stopped.
Within minutes life begins to go back to normal.  Just another day in paradise.


  1. Great post. Keep writing. Look forward to seeing you back in Boston.

  2. How's 'bout a nice cushy job shooting starlets on a red carpet with me? Just throwin' it out there. Odds are the closest thing you'll come to a bomb is watching a really bad film. Then again, who knows....this is New York!

    Really well put entry Kevin. Oh, and LOVE the plumbing piece!

    Looking forward to knowing you're back home.