10 March 2006 (continued)
During the last 2 months, things at my guest house, Zulu House, have not been going so well, which has been upsetting. In the past, when work got tough or frustrating, it was such a joy to come back to the guest house and see my friends. However, now the dynamic has changed, due to my housemate’s girlfriend. She is chronically jealous and one of those women who let their own insecurity out on other women. She has taken it out on me in particular (possibly because as a single woman she saw me as a threat, what rubbish! ) and so I have felt quite isolated in the house, especially with Danielle’s long absence in Kabul before the decision was made to relocate both her and Jim to Mazar. Jim has already left and Danielle will follow soon. I will miss them-they are such dear friends and Danielle and I have been so close.
These two factors, coupled with a steep rent increase due to higher cost of the generator, have made me decide to leave my current guesthouse and I am due to move out in the beginning of next month to take up residence in the Taj Mahal guest house (and yes, the building does look like an Indian wedding cake!) . The Taj guys are offering me a very good rate, have a pool which will be great during Jalalabad’s summers which can bring temperatures of over 50 celsius, internet access in the rooms which will finally help me to communicate more regularly with friends and family at home, and many of them have become good friends over the last few months, on those fun Thursday and Friday nights, which usually begin with awild drive from Zulu House to the Taj by Antoine( as a security officer, he is allowed to drive himself, unlike the rest of us who have to use drivers, accompanied by his music selection. One of our particular favourites is “Shame and Scandal in the family”-we crack up every time we listen to it on those drives to the Taj. Recently, we had a casino night at the Taj, which the gurkhas also joined. Brilliant fun.