Did We Just Fly Over Afghanistan?!
“Ladies and gentlemen, if you look out to your left, you will see the city of Kabul.”
I sat up straight. Kabul?!
“Once again, on the left side, we have great views today of Kabul, Afghanistan.”
We were flying over Afghanistan?!
I flew from Bangkok to London on Air India, stopping in Delhi on the way. I had no qualms about this airline in particular (nor do I about any airlines), but it made me wonder…just how many airlines would fly over Afghanistan?
I looked out the window and wondered if this would be the only way I’d ever see Kabul.
Back in the day, Kabul was a vaulted destination for both backpackers and moneyed tourists. It was a beautiful, romantic city, drawing people from all over the world.
Then, of course, everything came crashing down. The tourists of back then never could have predicted Afghanistan to be torn apart by war and the Taliban.
Which great city will crash down next?
As we flew over the surrounding mountains — and I saw snow for the first time in months — it made me wonder about which destinations are most vulnerable to being bombed beyond recognition. But they don’t have to be vulnerable. None of us ever imagined 9/11 would happen. Anything could happen anywhere.
The Taliban destroyed the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan, a UNESCO World Heritage sight. Who knows how long we’re going to have the Great Pyramids? Or anything — the Parthenon, Angkor Wat, Machu Picchu?
I don’t even want to think about it.
But who knows…someday, we might be flocking back to Afghanistan.