No, the purpose of this post is to share my two favorite lines from the book, which I just finished today. The author - who walked across Afghanistan, alone, in 2002 just after the American-led invasion - gives an incredibly raw and unadorned portrayal of that "fascinating, unfortunate country." These two lines capture it perfectly:
"Qasim left the room without speaking. I smiled at the man with the red lips but he just continued to stare. I took out my notebook and sketched Abdul Haq, who was sleeping on his back with his rifle across his thighs, his large chest slowly rising and falling. He had a clear, honest face. I found my fondness for him difficult to reconcile with what I knew of his enthusiasm for killing people and making small children cry," p. 79.and
"The next day I went to watch the Buzkashi game taking place on a series of fields - some fallow, some plowed and planted - just to the east of the empty Buddha niches. Buzkashi a form of polo played with a dead goat instead of a ball," p. 262Damn. Road trip, anyone?