Monday, July 28, 2008

Every Morning in Kabul

Even before the sun lifts itself above the eastern mountain range to bathe Kabul in its light, the merchants are readying for another day. The bakers must be like the Dunkin' Donut guy of the commercials. Fresh-baked bread is on display by 05:30. People are out buying the day's groceries before 06:00. What we would call the commercial districts with computer shops, clothing stores and the like are still asleep, but where people live is alive with trade. I'm not really a morning person, but I love watching Kabul wake up in the morning.

Neighborhood bakery setting out the bread.

You typically see people carrying their bread home early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

I continue to be amazed at both the quantity and quality of the produce on display at the many vendors in town.

If you get your meat early in the day, it will be in just slaughtered.
You can watch the whole process if you like.

Main fare here is beef and goat, but they sometimes have a few chickens too.

Meat on display all day. Of course, you don't eat anything rare here.
The fat layer is left on to protect the meat from both heat and flies.


Terrie Farley Moran said...

Fascinating--and I won't buy meat in the supermarket if it was packed yesterday!!


Travis Erwin said...

Great pictures. That meat might even make pause ... but it would still beat a salad.

Charles Gramlich said...

Man, your Kabul pics are virtual tour for someone who wants to get a good feel for what is to them an exotic society. Fascinating about the meat being slaughtered so fresh. Wow.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Lovely to see that life goes on still in some form. And that food is plentiful!

preTzel said...

I would buy my meat first thing after slaughter - not hours later.

The veggies? They look delicious!

Thank you for the continual tour of traveling out of Little Town, Iowa to a place in Far, Far, Away. :D

debra said...

another interesting snapshot into life in Kabul. Thank you. I haven't cooked or consumed red meat in years. I think I'll keep it that way.

Reb said...

Wow, I can't imagine living like that. It really shines a light on how pampered our lives are here in North America. Most people wouldn't know what a cow looked like, let alone how to buy what they want when it is hanging like that, not cut up into various steaks, roasts, chops, whatever.

Thanks for the interesting look at the other side of the world.

Ello said...

Oh wow! And that bread! I'd love a loaf of that, it looks just awesome!

Barbara Martin said...

The photos are fascinating...especially the ones where the animal is hanging up for sale. I remember from childhood some butchers hanging their meat and purchasers waiting a couple of days for the meat to become gamey! Though this was usually for fowl.

J. L. Krueger said...


At home I'm the same way (on the freshness bit), but then I love rare beef and lamb.


As long as it is cooked all the way through, it's ok to eat. They marinate and season the meat before cooking. I’ve found it quite tasty.


The society is very different, but it's easy to get to like the Afghans. Hospitality is one of their best traits.


Yes indeed, life goes on. And there is progress, even if slow by our standards.


There isn't much meat left by 4PM,
I usually see the most activity at the butcher shops between 6 and 10 AM.


I only wish I could have a rare steak! I guess I'll have to wait a while.


Most of the meat gets chopped up into cubes for cooking anyway. Since they don't eat anything that isn't cooked all the way through, I guess it doesn't matter much as far as cuts are concerned.


The bread, naan, is delicious. They use it like a utensil when eating, scooping up the food in a small folded piece like a spoon, or grabbing a chunk of meat with it. So its shape also has utility.


You seldom see meat hanging like that in the States anymore. It's usually kept out of sight in a meat locker. Here it is virtually all gone by sundown, so the process starts all over again the next morning.