False Assumptions

Even if you promise yourself not to have any sterotypes, expectations or prejudices about Afghanistan - you will. Travelling Afghanistan and letting your friends and family know, does effect you! Because they are going to tell you all the horror stories, share their fear and send you internet-links of terrible news reports. Truth is completely different!

False assumptions clarified

What I thought


Streets in Kabul are always empty because it is too dangerous for people to go out. Therefore, I think I stay in houses most of my time and rarely go out.

How reality is

Streets are busy, day and night. Inside Kabul is always a little bit of traffic jam, shopping malls, bazars, supermarkets are crowded.  We are always outside the house. Either in the park, in lake-view-restaurants, hookah (sisha) bars, leisure parks with Ferris Wheel and roller-coasters or at mountain viewpoints. 


Overall, I expected much more checkpoints. Also, I have not seen one single foreign soldier. I feel seriously safe. Only because it seems in Afghanistan happen more attacks as elsewhere, civilians do not expect those things to happen. They exactly feel as we do in front of the TV “this happens to others, but not to us”. It is not at all that constantly some crimes and attacks take place. Most of the time it is just peaceful as any other country. Unfortunately from time to time insurgents or the Taliban or now even the Islamic State carry out attacks, just as shootings happens equally unexpected in the US or crazed actions in Germany. People are as surprised as we would be in Germany over an attack. Only because we are in "Afghanistan" does not automatically mean that numerous attacks take place every hour. 


All in all, I never expected to have such a secure feeling while roaming around Afghanistan.Kidnapping and Explosion were my biggest fear before I came to the country. Now, once in the country, my biggest fear is too stay at home too long, because I do not want to miss even one second of the active street life in Afghanistan.

What I thought

Everything is destroyed, it is difficult to organize your daily life routine, things are hardly working.

How reality is

Well, most of the time streets are better maintained than in Saxony Anhalt  =) Spacious pavements, structured traffic without the unnecessary use of the horn, and actually all things are working very well. Buying a flight ticket in a travel agency for example is without any hassle and takes less than ten minutes. They even served you a cold orange juice while you´re waiting.


Making a contract for a Wi-Fi-stick and get it applied to your computer is done in a very modern furnished shop, where all employees are fluent in English.When the ATM was out of order and I called the repair service, they came straight away and fixed it within five minutes. 

In Kabul you see less destruction. There are nearly no signs that remember on the US-mission from 2001-2014. The only little traces left are from the Soviet war 35 years ago. 

What I thought

I won´t see women on the streets. And if, only heavily covered.

How reality is

Well, you probably saw the photos of my Kabul clothe. The first comment on my arrival about my style was: “Hey girl, you are dressed more Islamic than my sister”. Honestly, streets in Kabul are full of women. Yes, in other cities such as Herat there is maybe a little bit less presence of women on the streets, but this is really just a slight difference and perhaps depended just on that day where I visited the city. Women go shopping without any male company, they go to university and sit next to men, and they get their driving license as well. One women sat next to me in public and was breast feeding her child.

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