This morning, I was first in line waiting for our routine pickup. When I got to the van, from my group, I was the first inside. But then we learned that there were now 6 persons, and the van, for security reasons can only hold 5. After a little banter about who can leave and who has a meeting, I just said, ok, I will take the next one. And so I disembarked and waved everyone farewell/catch you later.
I went inside and about 10 minutes later, a car arrived for me and I got in and we took off on the road to campus. About 5 minutes from campus, we saw the earlier van pulled to the side of the road and surrounded by ANP. Afghan National Police (blue-ish) uniforms. We slowed down enough to holler at the drivers of that van and then got pulled over ourselves. They wanted to see passports. The earlier van, the one that I was on for that brief moment this morning, had been waiting for over 10 minutes wondering what to do...
My driver was somewhat assertive and obstinate and he chose to yell something in Dari to the ANP man next to our car such that the ANP man, armed, of course, banged on the hood of the car and yelled something back. We drove off and I think that my eyes were popping and I dared not look back. But I did, because I can't help but do that, and saw that the other van, the earlier van, was now pulling off, too.
We all made it to campus safely.
There were a few emails this morning now declaring that we should have with us our original passport, not a photocopy, and on our person at all times.
But that's how I got to work this morning. Just a side venture into a pod of men with multiple small arms pointing this way and that.
I get to send my passport off to get its longer, multi-entry visa next week. And now, I look forward to the weekend.