IN AFGHANISTAN (Part Three)

In Herat people don’t hassle, they are gentle courteous friendly, the city is made of mud yet is colourful all day because many stores sell coats carpets bags shirts pants hats capes belts of colour — Pomegranates melons nuts dates cucumber cakes cookies golden sweet sticky sewer sun glistening on down the side of the  street.

The hotel room is bare, just a carpet on the floor, but soon we fill the room up with sleeping bags, cases, knapsacks all arranged for sitting on. Clearwater on the tape, bleary eyed frizzy head smiles digging the music…Raga in the middle of a Donovan song minutely examined with my open ears, I feel small dancing running between the notes—

On the walls are sad notes about how people have been overdosing on hash, grotesque drawings, poetic attempts expressing passing good feelings, taken so much more lightly it seems than those frights on the other side of the spinning wheel—

While the sun goes down behind the ruins of a mammoth mosque described by Marco Polo, a sliver of the same white moon rises almost above the sunset, which explains to me that the sun is somewhere under my feet standing on this huge globe, and is casting the earth’s shadow across the moon. The earth turns hugely from the west around to the east. If you are always right you go round in circles. But if you don’t mind being wrong you might get straightened out.

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