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  • We boarded the taxi unsure of whether we would be allowed in Green Village without registering twenty four hours in advance. This is Afghanistan and Green Village boasts of the best security in the country. They have convinced over 4,000 ex-pats to reside there, inside at least thirty feet high barricades. We were invited to an evening of karaoke and dancing and actually had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Such is the case for all true adventures, is it not?

    At the first checkpoint in the gate, the polite Nepali guard explained to my friend, a resident of Green Village, who I will call Marcus, that if we were not on the list of visitors, Grace and I could not enter. They danced around understanding while we faked ignorance about the rule. When push came to shove we could not enter. Then we initiated our back up plan: Marcus would tell the first checkpoint that we needed a ride home and had to go to the car that was in the parking lot before the second checkpoint. The guard gladly agreed and we were in. Marcus grabbed the keys of another ex-pat vehicle from security and then came back. He quietly revealed that on Green Village military protocol is necessary so he needed to walk in front of the car. Translated that means: T, you need to drive this huge, bullet proof, armed vehicle while I walk in front of you, okay? Some might say that it is because security on this side of the world is based on trust and not on rules and perhaps that is the case, however, it is quite alarming how easy it was for us. Like magic, our plan worked. We had managed to get into the most secure residential compound in Kabul without permission.

    After parking the car in the exit lot we calmly walked to find our friends. Being in this compound was almost like being at an apartment complex somewhere back home. An ATM machine, pool tables, a bar, a swimming pool, patio decks to lounge and lots and lots of westerners. Grace and I had to hide our excitement and try to play it cool.

    The evening ended with a surprise none of us could have expected: Karaoke in Hindi. I'll save that story for another day. Oh Mariha ho...
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