ANDRONIK STARTED SINGING Arlo Guthrie’s “Flying into Los Angeles” in this episode, and it’s since become our touring anthem. The chorus line of “Don’t check my bags if you please, Mr. Customs Man” is especially appropriate in a country where an estimated 4.5 billion dollars was smuggled out in 2011 — not to mention the lucrative smuggling trade in the rest of Central Asia.
Hip-hop and club music is incredibly popular in Kabul, second only to Bollywood as the taxi drivers’ choice. It’s a bit weird to hear such classics as Akon’s “Smack That” or “Sexy Bitch” blaring out of the cars in one of the most conservative Muslim countries in the world. If 50 Cent ever did come to Kabul, he would sell out his gig several times over.
Afghanistan is one of those countries where it’s harder to get out than it is to get in. I’ve seen people with legitimate exit visas be turned away for no other reason than the guards fancy a little top-up to their salary. However, a guitar will ensure that, while you’re thoroughly searched, you’ll sail through immigration.