© Reto Albertalli / phovea
By now I thought I would be sitting at the Pub back home, proudly sipping a fresh Guinness and listening to some heavy rock. My mom would have picked me up from the airport, happy his son is back home, she would have been preparing great stuff for dinner and my dad would have found a good bottle of local red wine. Only then I would have gone home to my place in Geneva. Well all this images had to be postponed, as at the airport some angry uniformed men teared my ticket in two halfs, after discovering my visa is expired. I frankly believed that I would have to pay a fine for every day. But that sounded to them more as bribery. So once surrounded by more and more angry cops I choose to back down to the check-in aera, hoping getting my backpack back, called the cab and returned to the centre. Watching out of the car's window. Everything looked hostile to me. Barbed wires, security walls, burkas, weapons, mud, dirt... grey. In the morning I was out at the bazar with a guy from the centre. It was strangely te first time I was out so much walking in the middle of the crowd, in one same place. I took pictures like knowing not coming back very soon. My friend had my digital cam and I hoped he could record some movie sequences of me, as a document. Well we must have looked strange because we got stopped several times by the police and once even by some secret civilians. Not fun at all when you know your visa expired, you have a plane to catch later, and little courious crowds surround you more and more. I can feel a change since the world known accident. It's more of a public thing. Each person is obviously nice and kind, but you can feel the potential of the crowd. At least I did. We know the mind can trick us easily in dark thoughts. And if you feel fear, well you are doomed. So sitting there in the cab back from the airport, I was forcing myself to get back to the original confidence and loving everything like it is. Once back at the centre everyone was sorry but happy to see me. They had a huge dancing party as the winter program is over. So I found myself dancing in the middle of clapping and shouting kids and the world couldn't have been betther. Another great adventure was then going to the passport office. Wich is fortunately not far from where I stay. There was an incredible crowd. Security guys pushing through it like moving sheeps. A loudspeaker shouting something from a green police pick-up. I wanted to cry. But convinced the translating guy with me, to try and ask. So we could move on. We were checked. I wasn't allowed to take pictures and of course the light was perfect and the scenes awesome. Lines and lines of watiting people, in the mud, between broken walls, squeezed one againts the other. Again the feeling I would never leave the country. But again asked and moved on to an office with only few foreigners. A guy in uniform sitting at a desk. Says ok, bring this this and this and we get you a 6 day visa for leaving. Back to centre. Then back to office. Ok now you need this and this. You pay 20 dollars and that's it. Want to give him cash. Says no to bank. Fortunately here at the centre they decided to send an experienced person paying for me. But since I should bring passport in the morning to get it back in the evening it's way to late and I'll "loose" another day. But it's ok unless I can go home. Wrote all this to a very good friend knowing Afghanistan way to well. He answered I'm an Idiot. You are in a country at war and expect to leave with an expired visa and even try to bribe officers. Weeeell... this are nice stories to tell at the pub, sipping a fresh Guinness very soon. No? I would be lying if I didn't admit feeling strange before falling asleep, alone with my thoughts, the window glasses trembling briefly as two helicopters fly low over us. But truly I feel in super security and very confident!