Kabul day 11: From Factory to The Netherlands

The alarm is going off way too early this morning…we have to get up urgently, because it’s checking out time this morning and we still haven’t packed our bags… this isn’t easy at all, since we want to take 19 newly crafted birds home, and also the lovely inspiration materials we gathered around Kabul. So, with the thought that you can ‘make things happen’ we stuff our suitcases.

At breakfast we meet our photographer to hand over a selection of photos. What a great person to work with – we’d love to work with her again. She even offers to make additional photos once we’re in Holland! What a service. We are convinced though, that we have enough material for the launch in Paris, at Maison et Objet. Outside the hotel we meet our filmmaker who will film another two hours at the factory. Just some extra shots to have a complete image of how one bird is developed from beginning to end. And then, of course, the birds fly with us in our suitcase.

At the factory we are finishing up the documents, giving instructions and handing over the product sheets. This way the crafters will be able to work smoothly once we’re back in Holland. The smile of the head of the crafting department should give us confidence that everything will be just fine. We are a bit worried though, time went very fast and going back to Holland really means we are not in control anymore of what the birds are going to look like. We will only see the last changes and newest birds some days before the fair… so: Insha Allah (God willing)…

Just before going to the Airport we decide to treat ourselves to a nice cup of tea at the Serena hotel… the taxi driver leaves us down the street so we walk to the hotel… there’s not much hesitation in our steps as we are determined to get some nice pastry… At the hotel we hear a group of American women talking about building a collection of knitwear over here. We are amused to hear new strategies of other Westerns making an effort to build some business in (trapped in confict)Kabul. Than we realize we really need to get to the airport, and since the taxi is waiting further down, we do the longest walk since we’re in Afghanistan: five minutes… I’m sure our muscles will hurt the next day.

After controls and security, we give the little man helping us with our bags a tip and our little prayer-carpet – it’s getting a bit too heavy for us. We get on our plain and before we know it we are in Dubai. The rest of our trip goes very smoothly, the long transfer in Dubai goes quick enough with lots of cups of tea. Less talking on our return, but we know what each of us is thinking: a good night sleep and… a cheese sandwich!

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