Afghanistan Diary
Sunday, May 08, 2005

This morning, I got called in for an unscheduled meeting. I was half expecting getting fired (can you tell I have a heavy conscience?), but really it was to discuss the security situation. It is rapidly deteriorating, it seems. In Kabul there were two failed abduction attempts over the week-end (which brings the number to three in the last thirty days). In a separate incident, a bomb or grenade attack took place in an Internet café. The number of incident in the whole country is of course far greater. We are under curfew again: no more moving after dark for the time being. I still think that Afghanistan is somewhat dangerous but primarily due to the high incidence of accidents in the air and on the road, the risk of being asphixiated by a furnace, blasted by a gas explosion, carbonized by a domestic fire, or more simply stung by a scorpion (there are quite a few. A kid was walking a scorpion attached to a string - like a dog on a leash- close to my house, the other day).

Today, it is chilly and the sky is completely overcast. As often when this is the case, one of my Afghan colleague commented, without any sarcasm "Nice weather."

Regarding my project: I attempted to parse the ArcView file data file (not totally easy, it is a binary file). I managed to read the file header but not the file itself. I am not exactly sure what was the problem as I am pretty sure my code is correct. Anyway, I did not want to spent too much time on this, since it only contains major circulation axis. In the end, I used Adobe Illustrator to mark each road segment. I haven’t finished, but almost. I will be done tonight. The idea is to save it as svg, and then to parse and convert the file.

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This is my diary. My name is Lev and I work in Kabul for a non-governmental organization (

Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
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