Chris De Bié - Storia Theurgica - The Hippie trail -
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Storia Theurgica
The Hippie trail


- _1. The escape
- _2. Gate to Asia
- _3. Persia
- _4. Afghanistan
- _5. Pakistan
- _6. India
- _7. Nepal
- _8. Back to Europe
4. Afghanistan

Herat - Kabul - Bamiyan - Khyber-Pass


After crossing the Islam Quala – another name for the Afghanistan border – one could see over the road a sign:
That was a clear warning – and a ‘friendly’ gesture! Even if somebody managed to cross this border safely – there were still the Persian and Turkish borders to cross and there was not much difference in the ‘quality’ of the respective prisons.

On a Russian built road of very poor quality we continued to Herat. Upon seeing the five minarets I spontaneously decided to get off the bus. The bus went directly to Kabul via Kandahar not entering Herat. I said my goodbyes to some of my friends and Antoine called after me:
"Remember Anjuna-Beach!"

All by myself I walked into Herat at dusk, enjoying the quiet, the loneliness, the now pleasant temperature and felt as if I were part of a fairytale told in 1001 Nights. In the distance lights could be seen, small fires were burning and the sound of drums was present and I felt intoxicated by the smell of the desert.


Herat Towers
Digital photo collage by Matthias Jonathan

I thought I heard some movement behind me. I turned around and saw the silhouette of a figure wearing some strange headgear. Now I started to feel I bit nervous and I quickened my steps. But the person behind me also walked faster. A lorry was coming our way and lit up the street and my stalker seemed to have vanished.

In Herat I was greeted by the pleasant smells of spices, burning wood and nicely heaped fruit – which were guarded by a proud, bearded old man. But there were other smells too, unpleasant ones, smells of rotten meat, faeces and burnt tires. I was watching three children for a while; they were making sandals and water containers out of old tires. The small leftover pieces were burnt. Unhealthy for people and environment but wood was very precious here. An old man, probably the father of the three, wanted to invite me for tea but the stinking fumes made me run.

'Survival-art' and emergency-born recycling.
Camel dung is used as fuel to heat the stoves, paper-bags that have been thrown away are gathered and reused as long as possible and toys are made from tin cans.

Two-wheeled carts pulled by ponies were used to transport goods and people...
  Matthias Jonathan


Pony cars
Photo by Hans Grimm - 1975

...whilst the jobless camels were dozing by the roadside.
  Hans Grimm



I took a room, or rather a bed in one of the few hotels. Most hungry westerners probably enjoyed the Kebabs but for me as a vegetarian only rice and bread remained. So I went to a fruit merchant and bought some of those delicious small golden bananas from Jalalabad. They are sweet and aromatic. Just as delicious as naan, a bread made of whole grain wheat flour. The slightly elongated flat bread is being sprinkled with water on one side and then pressed against the wall of the beehive shaped clay oven, the Tandoor, to be baked.
  John Bower


Photos by John Bower - 1972

So in this somewhat strange round I enjoyed a delicious meal accompanied by tea and was offered a hookah after my meal. The room was only illuminated by two petrol lamps, the grill fire and the glow of the water pipe; about twelve Afghans were in this room and two freaks. One of them sat all by himself in a corner and seemed to be shunned by everybody. He appeared totally apathetic. The other one sat within a group of Afghans and seemed a bit helpless. I invited him for tea and he sat down next to me.

Stefan came from Hamburg and started looking for some shit and papers in his pockets.
"Great! Those pipes go straight to your head. Where did you get the papers?"
"An Italian left them with me since he only wanted to smoke the hookah. You won’t find any in Herat."
We enjoyed the joint and I asked him where I could buy a few grams.
"I could sell you some because I need money to get to Kabul."
"Have you run out of money?"
"Oh, when i arrived here the night before last I was robbed. My little bag with my passport and traveller checks was stolen; I only have my purse left with a few dollars. Not enough to reach the German Embassy in Kabul!"
"Where did that happen?"
"Just as I was entering the village somebody wanted to sell something to me. As I inspected the piece he tore my bag from me and disappeared into the desert. I then went to the police but they just smiled at me cause they don’t understand any English. All they managed to say was, “Go Embassy Kabul”!
"What did the thief look like?"
"Same as all Afghans, with his long beard and oh yes, he wore some kind of military cap. That was the most expensive Hashish of my life" and with those words he placed it into my hands.
About 5 grams I guessed.
I told him about my experience. The strange headgear must have been the military cap. I halved the shit and gave him back his piece.
"Ten dollars should be enough to reach Kabul."
"Thank you Chris. I have been waiting for somebody like you. Nobody wants to help me here. The guy sitting in the corner there is a junkie. Sometimes he just disappears to his room to shoot himself up then he comes back here, half a sleep, just hanging around. I have never seen him going outside."
"Well looks as if I have been lucky. Now I know why I got out of the bus. It was an expensive ticked to Kabul, the one I had given away. With the money both of us could get to Kabul with the local busses. This way I could help you and I have been warned. Have you eaten already?"
"A little, I didn’t feel all that hungry. I am also vegetarian by the way."
"Then let us buy some fruit."
Bread and tea accompanied the bananas, apples and dried apricots.
I then told him my story.
"Wow! Chris... what did you get into here! What an adventure! At least I can go to the Embassy, they have to help me. But you? I am tired now; thank you, I can go to sleep easier now. Good night my friend."
"Good night Stefan."

I couldn’t fall asleep and waited for the sun to rise. I then took a bus to Kabul. I knew the places of interest already from my last trip which dated back only 2 years.


Old Fort



Photos by Hans Grimm - 1975

I ‘reserved’ a place in an old bus; the Afghans were busy loading the bus, so I used the remaining time for a walk into the desert, into the raising sun. High on the incredible colours, the smells and the great dope I felt removed in time displaced into another dimension.
"Hey mister!" they called me back. I sat in the bus and found a place between and old man and a huge parcel.


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© by Chris De Bié admin: 17.03.2019