Occasionally I’d convince my driver to let me sneak out and buy juice from a stand, but for the most part living there was very isolating.When I met Hameed, I had been in Kabul for almost a year.I was invited to embassy events, underground NGO parties, and house parties.In conflict zones, people find outlets to deal with the extreme stress regardless of the circumstances.
The sexual tension mounted with every secret meeting, so there was huge buildup by the time we slept together.
People played poker and cards, used cocaine and weed, and drank a lot of alcohol, which is a sign of power and money since it’s only sold on the black market at exorbitant prices.
It might sound like I had a glamorous life, but there were plenty of days that went by with nothing but work—no social interaction, no walks outside, or going out to grab coffee.
A family friend who is a government-relations consultant had recently launched a small strategic consulting firm in Kabul.
I desperately wanted to travel there, develop my language skills, and work in an area related to my degrees—so I convinced him to let me come and assist him.