[一日遊] price given the run-down

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Apricots! Grapes! In the early evening, you would have heard azan, the mueszzin's call to prayer from the mosque in Shar-e-Nau.
I heard a honk and saw Farid waving at me. It was time to go.

WE DROVE SOUTH AGAIN, back toward Pashtunistan Square. We passed several more red pickup trucks with armed, bearded young men crammed into the cabs. Farid cursed under his breath every time we passed one with her, he would sanction everything at oncehe answered..
I paid for a room at a small hotel near Pashtunistan Square. Three little girls dressed in identical black dresses and white scarves clung to the slight, bespectacled man behind the counter. He charged me $75, an unthinkable price given the run-down appearance of the place, but I didn't mind. Exploitation to finance a beach house in Hawaii was one thing. Doing it to feed your kids was another.
There was no hot running water and the cracked toilet didn't flush. Just a single steel-frame bed with a worn mattress, a ragged blanket, and a wooden chair in the corner. The window overlooking the square had broken, hadn't been replaced. As I lowered my suitcase, I noticed a dried bloodstain on the wall behind the bed.
I gave Farid some money and he went out to get food. He returned with four sizzling skewers of kabob, fresh _naan_, and a bowl of white rice. We sat on the bed and all but devoured the food. There was one thing that hadn't changed in Kabul after all:
The kabob was as succulent and delicious as I remembered.
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