Over Salang Pass


We went on a trip to Salang Pass. This pass goes over and into the mountains and used to be ruled by a Panjshiri Commando. Now what happen was people were too afraid to cross this route, so they would have to drive around the mountain making a 3 hour trip an 18 hour trip to the North. The pass was built by the Russians in the 1960s.

Shoby used to help build and start-up hospitals and health centers around the country. So he used to drive medical equipment and supplies from province to province. One day, on his way to the North with his brother in the car, he decided to try the short route into the mountain. Fighters at the pass stopped him. Thinking his brother was a white foreigner and afraid of getting ambushed and killed for trespassing, Shoby cried out “This is my friend. He is a doctor from Germany.” (Doctors are respected) The fighters enquired more and then took the news back to the commando sitting in the tent.
They beckoned, “Come into the tent.”

The Panjshiri Commando asked Shoby a few questions about the “foreigner”. Shoby told his brother in German “You just talk to me in German. Pretend you are a doctor. I will pretend to translate to the Commando. Just Do as I say.” So they acted out a scene. The Commando told Shoby of his illness and Shoby took some medicine from his car and gave it to the Commando.

At the end the Commando pleased told him he could use his short-route. They started on their way into the mountain to get to the North, taking the 3 hour and not 18hr route!

Maybe I will write a story about Shoby’s life in Afghanistan.


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