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What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

ISAF (the adjacent military base) is a good place to get away, particularly the coffee shop (in winter or their deck in summer) and the garden (in summer). There are a TON of exercise classes offered at ISAF and at the Embassy. . .it's a great way to relieve the bountiful stress and to meet people. I don't normally work out a lot but going to exercise classes 6 days/week has been one of the highlights of my tour, both in terms of getting in to shape and meeting tons of people from myriad agencies. - Jun 18, 2014
You're not going anywhere. You're not seeing anything. And with the military drawdown, field placements are drying up quickly. You are entering a minimum security prison. - Jul 12, 2013
Drink, work out, or buy over-priced items at the bazaar. There is a very serious volleyball league. The Duck and Cover is the main gathering point, but it has the feel of a very sketchy, predatory college bar. People mainly just try to make it to the next pay day, while counting down to R&R. - Mar 30, 2013
Visit the limited restaurants we are allowed to go to for official business, walk the 5 minutes to ISAF on Fridays and go to the baazar and well, that's about it. - Dec 27, 2010
Learn about and buy carpets. Order food from local restaurants. Go hiking at the Queen's Palace. Work out. Come up with elaborate events to keep yourself busy. - Aug 2, 2010
The embassy compound has a pool, a tennis court, and a sand volleyball court. There's a bar on the compound, and sometimes we have special events (dances, happy hours, etc).There's also quiz night once a month. Other activities depend on the talents of embassy staff. We used to have a weekly salsa night, but the I think the staffer who was leading it departed post. Some people go out to "official" events in the city hosted by outside contacts (contractors and other diplomats). And the other embassies sometimes host events. Otherwise, other activities on the compound include movie watching, board game playing, and working out. On Fridays there are bazaars at ISAF and Camp Eggers. But be prepared to work very long hours, leaving little time for play. - Jul 10, 2010
Shop at the bazaars when they aren't closed due to a recent suicide bombing; work-out; party; sleep if you have the time. - Sep 7, 2009
Watching movies, hanging out. - Mar 19, 2008