Unless you are one of those intrepid Japanese who turn up occasionally here as in the remotest of places, chances are that you’re not visiting Afghanistan as a tourist. There hasn’t been much of that since the early ’70s, when shaggy young Westerners made their way through Afghanistan en route to India, smoking hash and buying those bulky embroidered sheepskin coats that still lurk in vintage stores back home.
Today most foreign visitors either have a job to do or are visiting expat friends. And it may feel self-indulgent to travel for pleasure in Afghanistan now — why aren’t you helping the poor or starting a business and working six days a week like the other internationals? (more…)