Journey To Afghanistan 1970

Table of Contents:
Hitch-Hhiking from Venice to Kabul
Ten Months in Kabul
Three months in Rawalpindi
I decided to stay alone in Europe after my sister left me in Paris to fly back home. A Tunisian couple befriended me at a Paris University dorm and I accompanied them to Tunis and Sousse. After a few weeks of touring and meeting family I set off by boat and train for Venice. As a single woman, I had some exciting adventures on the way. Enjoying breakfast in the patio of a Venice youth hotel, I was approached by a young man from New York City who introduced himself and sat down at my table. Barry invited me to accompany him to India where he was going to meet his Guru.
The next day we stood on the highway waiting for a lift. He had an issue of Mother Earth News opened to the section marked "Overland Route to India." Our remarkable, fun, sometimes scary journey took three and a half months to reach Kabul, Afghanistan. Barry left for India a few months later. Out-of-money I was taken in by a refined highly educated Afghan family and got a job teaching English at a local language school. Later, I became an accountant and cashier at Bost Restaurant, Bar, Hotel. The winter was the worst in memory and Bost as well as most other businesses closed down. In early spring I went as manager of the Bost musicians to their new position at Intercontinental Hotel in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Among the many events and incidents that occurred on this trip was a frightful mistake I made renewing my Afghanistan visa. I got the paperwork done each month but didn't get my passport stamped, so I was in the country illegally for nearly a year. The process to get an exit visa without going to jail was a scary but amusing adventure that is relayed in the book. Our ride on the magic bus from Kabul to Peshawar was another good story. Dealing with customs officers at the Pakistan border was also noteworthy, scary and exciting. All will be recounted in the book. Our accommodations at the Intercontinental, Rawalpindi were impeccable, but when the band I managed, from a Philipine family born in Afghanistan, ignorantly played Hava Nagila for a high ranking Emissary from Saudia Arabia, all hell broke loose. We apologized to the aggrieved party one by one and got a severe warning and a dressing down from the hotel director. A few weeks later I met the director of UNICEF who sent me to the northern tribal areas to do research on pit-loom weaving which became my master's thesis and helped to get me admitted to the PHD Program at the Ohio State University. I became an Art Historian. Stories of my Dissertation Research in Pakistan are fodder for a subsequent book.

My traveling partner Barry Alpert (long hair & glasses) with our driver in Dubrovnic 1970

Sign on the Khyber Pass from Kabul to Peshawar, Pakistan. 1971 just after the Bangladesh!
We had to wait out the war to get visas to enter Pakistan

Handmade boots from embroidered cloth, very red: Perfect fit. Getting ready for the worst winter in Kabul in 30 years.

Settled in Rawalpindi after 10 months in Kabul. I was a presenter at a convocation at Womens' College Rawalpindi.

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