It was just then that I understood the powerful psychological weapon of having a petite woman torturer when trying to bust a detainee - I'm told that a bloke can withstand a bitter beating and remain mentally intact when faced by a man but that the absolute loss of power and hope that goes with being interrogated by a woman holding all the power is just too much and they crack.
Later, I head for Karte se - it's the usual scenario - I am with Mazar our driver and we are chatting about stuff - I've a map to guide us but still we are not sure - it's usual here to get close and then to ring your host and get their Afghan guard to describe how to go the last part of the way to the house - nothing is marked here so you could be driving round many a street looking and looking, houses are all behind walls or high metal fences so you can't really peer into windows either. This evening was a novel one as we got as far as Pol e Sarc, a couple of calls later and we were really none the wiser - I am tired so I leave it all to Mazar and am amused when the guard turns up on his bicyle to guide us in - it turns out that we are still quite some way away from the house and it's a comical scene with our bicyle lead escort, a skinny Afghan on the de rigeur bike, wobbling his way through the heavy traffic to guide us in. one and a half hours late; I finally make it to dinner :)
Dinner is with a lovely family from the US who have two kids in school here. The house is full of toys and they even have a really cool McDonald's Happy Meal star wars toy of Wicket the Ewok. there are a number of families who have chosen to bring their kids with them and there are a couple of expat schools here in Kabul for the kids to go to. Some people might consider it a little crazy to bring the kids out here but from what I can see the kids I've met have amazing parents, dedicated and committed to stay for the long term, would not consider it to be right for the family to be apart. The kids are wise and adventurous, speak several languages and, as only children can do, broker a street diplomacy, live and see the real life of the inhabitants playing football in the street hanging out with their Afghan friends.
Later on the way home, Mazar knowing how much I like dogs, slows down whenever we are passing some of the street dogs who stray along on the roads at night - there are plenty of them and it's a slow drive home.