Entry: Hotel Ejection and Benjamin Franklin (Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan) Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Apologetically enough, I was kicked out of my hotel this afternoon.  The manager is closing the hotel and going home to be with his family for the four days that include Eid and the weekend after.  Barat Hotel was recommended but I refused to stay there for the obnoxiously high tariff of $20.  The Hotel Ammo was also being closed for Eid.  The only option left was a dumpy unsigned hotel down the back alley that was completely empty except for one boy who remained during Eid to work there and stayed in the room opposite me.  I moved into a big cold room with four beds and with three walls of glass covered by dusty green curtains.  I was careful not to touch anything in the room including the curtains or the blankets since a I find any disturbance would send a fine dust into the air that lingered for hours.

There was no running water or electricity, and the toilets were in a dismal decayed state with a stench that made even the flies pass out.

I more or less shut it all out and became engrossed in reading Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, which I nearly finished in a single day.  Benjamin Franklin has always been a man whom I wished to emulate in many ways.  He was a virtuous man, moulded not primarily through environment or religion, but through his own intentions.  In the spirit of exploration he visited foreign nations and performed scientific experiments.  He was a great writer and inventor and helped establish such useful civic endeavors as a circulating library, fire brigade, and street paving.  All in all, he lived a long, happy, and productive life...and got his picture on $100 notes.  Now that's what I call success!


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