Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I became a confirmed "ACE" today. A few weeks ago i flew through a group of fighting kites. I have no doubt that I took out four of them in one pass. I thought there may have been a fifth, but today for sure I made ace.

Some background information:
Apparently kite fighting is the national pastime around here... along with a horse game like polo but with a dead goat. For kite fighting, they make these kites and glue broken glass and razors on the string. Then fly them over their neighborhoods looking for a fight. If the challenge is accepted, more kites join that one. They fight each other by trying to cut the other kites out of the air using the razors and glass that are glued to the string. The last kite still flying is the victor. From what I hear it is biggest at the end of winter. Then, there can be thousands of kites. Right now it is to hot so there are only a few kites fighting.

Let me put these stories in proper aviation format...

First bout with the Kabul fighting kites!

"So there I was... Low over Kabul. (hands demonstrating low over Kabul) I was looking down into peoples houses and yards thinking thoughts like, 'if only we were in suburban Atlanta there would be hotties topless sun bathing,' and 'what the hell are those sheep eating; dirt, or rocks?' when for no reason but pure pilot instinct, I look up. My first though was "Shit! BIRDS!!!" about a millisecond later my eyes focused on the vertical strings that they were attached to. The thought instantly changed to "Shit! Kites!!!" My body tensed. You can imagine that about the time you are close enough for your eyes focus on kite strings at 200 km/h you are a little to close to effect the outcome to much. There was nothing I could do now... brace myself... nothing. Absolutely nothing. I didn't feel it, the aircraft kept flying... nothing at all. That wasn't all that bad. Though I have had uncomfortable dreams about hitting kites several times since then. I survived my first encounter with the fighting kites of Kabul"

New jet, new day.

"So there I was... in a turning rejoin low over a different neighborhood of Kabul. (hands demonstrating a perfect turning rejoin) This one, I saw from a ways off... sort of... My brain saw them and understood them as brown plastic bags. It is windy here a lot so it isn't inconceivable that there could be garbage blown high up into the air. No problem, I'll be passing under them... "Fuck! that's a Kite, nope two of them" was the thought I had in my head, though all I actually said out loud was, "KITE!"

Again, right through the strings damn it.

I looked over at the other pilot. He looks at me and just shrugs.

I just shrugged back. "Thats 'splash six' for us now Hey?"

"TWO... IN... IS?" he says.

"Yep, 'two is in' ...did you see those kites?"

"Dari... dari... dari... dari..." is the reply.

"I don't know what you just said dude, but we are still here so I guess we win today.""

There you go... My two stories of aerial combat above the mud brick walls of Kabul that make me a kite ace. As thrilling as all that is, I don't think I will be looking to tangle with them again. I will also be keeping my hands inside the window when I am low. I don't really want to see what glass shards do to my forearm at 200 km/h.


amateur.sophist said...

Shit... are there really topless hotties sunbathing across suburban Atlanata?

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the kites. Does anyone there have a copy of The Kite Runner that you can borrow? If not, let me know and I will send you a copy to read. Being in Afghanistan, its a perfect read for you.


Notorious said...

Atlanta... I don't know for sure, but I suspect so. I figure it is a huge city with lots of urban sprawl. The urban sprawl leads to fenced in back yards where chicks will feel comfortable taking off their tops. It is warm down there... hot even... which lends it self to sunbathing, but not the flesh searing heat of places like Tucson or Phenix.... Which increases the duration that each individual hotty would spend out in the sun. All these things make me suspect it is a good place to look for topless sunbathing hotties. I also chose a southern city because the southern girls tend to be more interested in making themselves look good than in northern cities. Chicago has shitloads of urban sprawl and the right weather for it, but I feel like the girls in HOT-lanta will be out tanning more than Chi-town. I thought about just going with Miami Beach, but I didn't want to be greedy.

I have actually already read "Kite Runner." I recommend it to all. Thanks though. I have never seen the movie. Is it worth watching?

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the film yet, although it is in our netflix list. I've heard it follows the book pretty faithfully though.


Notorious said...

I'll keep an eye out for it too. If you see it, let me know.

Notorious said...

I'll keep an eye out for it too. If you see it, let me know.

Anonymous said...

You make me laugh. I'll let you know about Atlanta in 6 weeks or so.