Afghanistan ... a shaken but nevertheless fascinating country with so many facets. I haven't been there yet, don't plan on it in the near future, who could blame me? But what one hears and sees of this mysterious country awakens curiosity and the desire to discover. So I have to let my imagination guide me in this commentary. In my imagination I am a tourist in a peaceful Afghanistan that I can explore freely and without danger. The freedom to fantasize accordingly, I take for this commentary now simply - knowing full well that that fantasy is currently utopian in nature.
I am thinking of hospitality and cordiality, those traits that are always said to be in the cradle of the people there, especially those who have little. I am thinking of the scorching heat that sometimes makes me desperate as an average Central European and who knows how to cling to every water bottle and every fruit in order to supply himself with sufficient liquid. The locals seemed to be able to comprehend my suffering and handed me a basket of apricots, a little cinnamon and, to have something firm between my teeth, a few bitter almonds, whose aroma came to full effect when I chewed them and accompanied the stewed compote, consisting of crushed apricots and cinnamon sticks, which I had prepared myself, in the most beautiful way. I immediately felt better - yes - even better and culinary spoiled and left the village and its inhabitants to set off for the next one.
The temperatures gradually fell. If the days here are sometimes unbearably hot, the nights can sometimes get cold and clinking. This night was supposed to be one of those. The sky was clear, the stars sparkled, I saw our Milky Way for the first time. No artificial light, as we know it in our densely populated countries, clouded that atmosphere.
I reached the next village. The moonlight illuminated the big cottage compound consisting of clay in the most sinister way, winds blew over the fields, which should be hit the next day again by the light of the standing up, hot sun. The closer I came to the mud hut, which was intended for me as accommodation, the stronger I perceived a flowery aroma, which must have its origin in the associated rose garden. Tired from my day trip I entered this garden full of curiosity. The flowery, so dark aroma intensified, flooded my nasal cavities. These roses were not buried at all, not playful, but mystical, dark, unspoiled, ripe, moonlit, thorny, dominant, companions of the Afghan night.
I entered my lodging bewitched by that olfactory pleasure. The village eldest was already waiting for me and embraced me warmly, showed me my couch and left me alone immediately, as he probably already recognized when I walked through the entrance of the hut that my eyes were already falling over while standing. So I lay down, the roses should accompany me, together with the tobacco freshly harvested by the farmers, stored in a big sack, standing directly next to my couch, to sleep. And so I fell asleep after only a few minutes - almost tipsy by this warming, lovely aura - and was woken up the next morning with tea and a little bread. Still the evening before I communicated that one does not have to make oneself big circumstances because of me. But when it came to tea, they went to a lot of trouble. My gift to the village elders was now in the tea that was served to me - a vanilla tea whose aroma flowed through the entire hut, underlined the tobacco and was discreetly accompanied by the rose. All this aroused associations of cherry tobacco, which, although I am a non-smoker, who doesn't know how to do much with water pipes, prompted me to stay longer. It had to be this combination of vanilla and roses that made me smell it. Anyway... I didn't want to leave here anymore. This warmth, so inviting, so cordial, so cuddly it was, tied me to that place, but I knew it was time to wake up sometime.
is that how Afghanistan smells? Do you? I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. That was just a fantasy that tried to hide all the horrors in that country. Perhaps I am completely wrong with her, if one fantasy can be wrong, and your associations, images and ideas, my dear readers, are completely different. But as I said ... it is a fantasy and so we leave it at that and perhaps enjoy it together, no matter how utopian it may be in view of the situation in this mysterious country.