Page 102. " We rolled into Jalalabad "
Creative Commons AttributionJalalabad - Credit: Todd Huffman

  Jalalabad is a city in eastern Afghanistan, located at the meeting of the Kabul and Kunar rivers.  It lies midway between Kabul and Peshawar in Pakistan. 


Google Map
Page 104. " on our way to Peshawar "
The Khyber Pass
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Khyber Pass - Credit: James Mollison

The route into Pakistan takes them over the Khyber Pass, in the Hindu Kush mountain range.  The Pass has played an important part in many military campaigns, from Alexander the Great to the British Empire.  In places, it is only three metres wide.  In January 1842, 16,000 retreating British and Indian troops were killed by Afghans at the Pass.


Map showing location of the Khyber Pass
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumMap showing location of the Khyber Pass - Credit: Pea Soup, Wikipedia
Page 110. " boycotting the Olympic Games "
1980 Olympics Medal
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike1980 Olympics Medal - Credit: Gary Abraham

Only two cities bid for the 1980 Summer Olympic Games: Los Angeles and Moscow.  Moscow won; Los Angeles went on to host the 1984 Games. 

After the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, the USA led a boycott of the Moscow Games and were joined by 60 other countries including West Germany, Canada, China and Japan.  Athletes from Great Britain and France competed under the Olympic flag rather than their own.  The University of Pennsylvania hosted an alternative Olympic Boycott Games attended by 29 countries.

The USSR retaliated by leading an Eastern Bloc boycott of the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

Page 120. " an entire section of the San Jose flea market "
San Jose Flea Market
Creative Commons AttributionSan Jose Flea Market - Credit: LFL16, Flickr
The flea market at 1590 Berryessa Road, San Jose, is the largest open-air market in the US, with 4 million visitors per year.  It has 8 miles of aisles and 2000 vendors. 

The 120-acre site is due to be redeveloped as a housing estate from 2010, and an alternative site for the flea market is being sought.

Page 125. " the longest night of the year "

Yalda feast
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeYalda feast - Credit: Eliza Tasbihi
The Shab e Cheleh festival, or Yalda, is a Persian event held on the shortest day of the year to celebrate the victory of light over darkness as the days once again begin to get longer.  Yalda predates Islam, and consequently is seen as nothing more than a social occasion now, at which families come together.  By tradition, watermelons and other fresh fruits are served.