Today on our compound was a meeting of the Tali-banned Cigar Aficionado Club; I went.
It is a group that was founded in Kabul in 2009. They have patches, shirts, coins...you name it. A picture of their patch is shown below.
They have almost 500 members worldwide. You become a member by attending a meeting held here in Afghanistan and paying your lifetime membership dues of $50. This gets you a shirt, a patch, and a free cigar at every meeting. Then when you go somewhere else, you can start your own cigar club and you'll still be under the Tali-banned regime.
They now have about 6 clubs in Afghansitan, a couple in the states, and a couple in Europe. They enjoyed meeting at Qalaa House as we actually have some trees and shade. Most of the time they're sitting in the sun trying to enjoy their cigars.
I didn't join, but I did have a cigar with the group.
They usually meet twice a month at ISAF or at the US Embassy, but they voted to start a chapter at Qalaa House to cover the other 2 weeks in a month. They even voted to give the new chapter $1000 to start buying shirts and cigars.
During the "meeting" they provided some tips on how to properly smoke a cigar. The guy said, "...it is acceptable to put down your cigar to take a drink of your favorite beverage. Here in Afghanistan, that beverage is water." A large number of good-natured "boos" erupted from the crowd. It was a decent way to spend an afternoon.
Getting shorter ever day...