Tapae Bemura. The name of the mountain from where I am going to enter the city. A long naked, greybrown ridge, no buildings, just the huge swimming stadium with the leap tower from where the Taleban is said to have let citizens jump down into the empty basin. From there I descend into the city of dust and scrap, through crowded streets into the centre, past the ruins of the royal palace, the ruins of mosques, the ruins of museums, the ruins of all kinds of materials and ruins of ruins and ruins of still moving humans. No shape, no forms and almost no colours, just the vast nuances of dust. Except for the fruits and vegetables towering and pyramiding on the barrows along the streets, the red carrots, the oranges, the spinach, apples, the huge white radishes, the tomatoes red and shining in the blinding sharp light.
Went to the National Theatre where they were supposed to have staged the Parliament. A ruin populated by pigeons the sun shining down through the imploded dome. Down in the orchestra pit one of the war lords used to (sub)stage his torture chamber. In theatrical terms I suppose this is called realism. On the other side of the square our Norwegian allies are trying to organize and equip a new theatre hall. On my way there I had to cross through a refugee camp, wannabe tents and children with swollen red frostbitten hands. Had one of them polish my military boots. Went inside, zero degrees Celsius, stayed there for five hours, and when I left the snow on my jacket still hadn’t melted. Met the actors, proud men without any reason, no education, no real salary, no future as far as I could see. Surprisingly fond of European culture though. One of the actors had four grand swastikas and an eagle on his belt buckle. Hitler was greatest man in history, he said. And Auschwitz? I said. He had no opinion about Auschwitz. I guess you - as a people, a culture - have to have been through the age of industrialisation to understand the extraordinary significance of Auschwitz.
Had a young actor search the city for two cameramen willing to follow me on the walk. - I call you tonight, Mister! He said. He didn’t. The next morning I called him. - Sorry Mister, I asked to many camera peoples, but they cannot because of time. Time?! Here in Kabul there’s nothing but ruins and time, so how come they don’t have no time? - Just another way to say they are afraid of filming your project, our Norwegian allied said.