A small wisp of blue smoke swirled gently at the tattered door, a small reminder of the Prince’s recent departure. Abdul was all a buzz with what was needed to repair the Benz. While there were many cosmetic parts, the suspension and radiator were gone, and the bad news mounted. The Afghans will be able to do the work, but the parts are more than rare. Many of the parts were only available in Mashad or Teheran back in Iran. I took my leave with Abdul and headed back home.
My mind could not but help to introvert and mull over the new events and directions that presented themselves now. The parts list was long and after much agony I decided to make the trip to Mashad in the other Benz as soon as possible. My friends and I were to move to the Princes’ house in the latter part of the day, and I wanted to forget the impending trip to Iran. Pulling out the large sticky chunk of hashish in my pocket I started to crumble it up for a wailing good time. Soon we were taking long pulls at the Hubble-Bubble and the day was once again my friend.
It was near to sunset, the color spectrum had just started to spread, dull shades now glowing. The Prince had sent a horse drawn cart to take us. A colorful hand painted carriage, replete with chromed hand rails, the paintings were of events in the history of the Prince.Drawn by two horses, young and powerful, their trappings embroidered and lined with dangling red cloth balls. A formidable sight once loaded with long-haired freaks pounding down the darkening alley ways of Mazar-I-Sharif puffing on over sized joints.
The Princes palace was just outside the city to the north. A huge walled affair with hundreds of servants and guards always in sight. Inside the compound are several large buildings. I see dormitories, kitchens, barns etc, all in the style of the 1001 Knights, a real freak show. Ari Amir, the Prince, was standing on the porch of the largest of the buildings. A 3 story structure of whitewashed stone and mud rising in the center. His long colorful robe once again casually flung over his shoulders, a tall proud figure with a great warm smile, ready to greet us.
Ari took pains to introduce us to each of his 12 wives, taking care to note number one. The musselmen were believers in multiple wives and the duty of the prince was to care for the local women by taking them into his harem. If he did not, they would be left to a life of poverty, prostitution or worse. It was a strange system that somehow worked in this country which not only had a year of 1365 but seemed stuck in that time spectrum..