Alistair Caldicott

Iranian Revelations: Shaking Minarets

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Chapter 18 - Destination Afghanistan

I worked out, that the day I would be entering Afghanistan was exactly four years to the day that I had been in New York, and had seen for the first time the wreckage of the World Trade Centre. It seemed an awfully long time ago. I ran the marathon through the city the next day. Ahead of me now I was poised for another marathon. But the secret of marathons is to break them down into manageable segments.

At Mashhad bus terminal I had instantly made some new Afghan friends. A small group of them were also taking the bus across the border to Herat. In the early morning cold, we stood around shivering in front of two buses, wondering which one would be the right bus. One bus was a rather luxurious looking double decker, which I eyed up. This was not to be the bus. We were made to board to older, more cramped and battered Mercedes Number One Super bus next to it.

I explained in Farsi to my fellow Afghan travellers where I was hoping to head to. It was slightly disconcerting when they all began to laugh loudly.

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