A bright, witty fixer and colleague, Sangar Rahimi, provided comic relief throughout a week-long journey in remote Badakhshan province. So this is for him and for me, so I don't forget how much we laughed.
(Imagine a dry delivery with an Afghan accent.)
During a meeting with a group of 12 shura leaders, Sangar overheard a whispered remark from one of the men after New York Times staffer Sabrina Tavernise told them her age: "Look at your wife and then look at her."
While shooing away a crowd of gawking Afghan men from a market where I was shooting: "Come on guys. They are human beings just like you."
He told us later about the same group of staring men: "I heard one excited guy say to another guy, 'There is a show here.' "
"I worked with Adam B. Ellick [a New York Times colleague]. He is such a good guy. Adam B. Ellick was not happy with the internet, it was too slow. Have you ever worked with Adam B. Ellick?"
After a night in a terrible hotel with dirty sheets and tiny smelly bathrooms in Faizabad: "My bathroom, it was like a grave."
"I feel your pain."
At 6 a.m. one day, Sangar waited 45 minutes outside the only bathroom for a fellow guest house patron to finish. "When the man finally came out," Sangar later told us at breakfast, "he advised me, 'Go ahead, the water is very hot.' "