I had the chance to talk to an Afghan guy a few years my senior today over some sweet chai. He made a really interesting point about the various ways people in Kabul feel about what they see (rightly) as a coming drawdown of American troops.
Most people are scared, he said. More than anything, they just don't want "those other guys" to come back into power. Interestingly, though, he pointed out how a lot of young people were either totally apathetic or generally happy to see the Big Guys in the Green Suits leave.
"Check the average age of an Afghan and compare it to your country," he told me.
Right away, I did. The median American is 35.3 years old, whereas the average Afghan is 18.2 years old.
"Think about what that means," he said. Most of the people in this country aren't old enough to REALLY remember what it was like during the time the Taliban were in charge."
It was an interesting point, and a good reminder not to just see the world through my own frame. The very fact alone that the average person here is only half as old as the average person in the country I came here from is enough to seriously impact the national mood.