No, we can't drink the water. We use bottled water to brush our teeth and we don't stand under the shower with our mouth open. The housekeeper washes the dishes in tap water and lets them air dry. Bacteria don't live well without a watery environment.
I eat fresh vegetables and I don't peel tomatoes. I do wash them in bottled water.
In the guesthouse I eat a lot of packaged foods - I've developed a taste for lentil (Dal) anything. In restaurants I have ordered hummus which is ever so much better than what I've had in the States, a dumpling affair with meat (Montoo) and wonderful feta cheese, of all things. There is a great Lebanese restaurant in town and last night we went to a place for Sufi music that served a thin form of their traditional bread (nan) stuffed with, I think, spinach, which was delicious.
The University has just hired a cook that can make hamburgers and we're getting a pizza oven. On Thursday nights at the guesthouse we've been ordering pizza - I get the pepperoni.
We have to make special arrangements to buy booze. It's illegal in this Muslim country, although at least in Kabul, it appears to be tolerated for the international community. Thank God!
Today it was 19 C (about 70 F); tonight it's 10 C (about 52 F), but it's getting colder, fast. And we're already starting to hear the horror stories about just how much colder it's going to get.
I am not using anybody's real name in this blog. The only people I know here in Kabul are people I work with. I am trying to get out and about, but it's difficult considering the security concerns.
Everyone has cell phones that are issued by the University. We carry them with us all the time. There are land lines in Kabul but from what I understand they are used mainly by the ministries and other organizations that are looking for secure ways of communicating.
I wear a head scarf whenever I am in a vehicle; I don't wear it at school and I don't wear it when I'm in a restaurant.
I wear a top (or a tunic) that covers my butt and either slacks or a skirt. I show my ankles!
I do not answer the question 'how old are you?'
I do not offer to shake hands with a man unless he makes the move first. I don't touch men, although I'd like to. Afghan men are drop dead gorgeous!
I try and say 'tashakor' (thank you) as much as possible and am trying not to be an ugly 'Amrikayi.'
Any other questions -- that I can answer?