Saturday, August 9, 2008

Some Interesting Things in Kabul

The people are my favorite subjects, but here is a mix with some commentary.

Kuchi tents in Kabul. Kuchi means literally, "those who move." The Kuchi are primarily nomadic Pashtuns, but other ethinc groups like the Baloch are also included. Lately they've been in Kabul squating on any available parcel of land. First, there is lots of available grazing in Kabul right now. Second, they've been having a bit of a row with the Hazara to the west of Kabul and some issues with the Taliban in the south. For now, Kabul is safety, good grazing, and they can sell their flocks for a decent profit to the local butchers.

Kuchi girls and women tend to dress in colorful clothes, which does not endear them to the Taliban.
This girl's scarf is held in place by a pink NY Yankee visor.
Baseball caps and visors are a common accessory for younger women and girls in Kabul.

The two guys on the left leading this parade are the lucky ones.
They won't be eaten soon.

More of that damned American influence!
A little dated, one of the boys is wearing Daunte Culpepper's Viking jersey.

A couple of Kabul University girls and other people on the street.
Five of these people were watching me aim my camera at them.
Oh, and the two college girls were hotties!

No matter what the sign says, neither of these women are Jack!

One must exercise caution when turning a street corner in Kabul.
Otherwise one ends up in the open sewer. This cabbie got a little careless.

In the States we call these guys "gypsy cabs."
The red scarf on the back tells you that this vehicle is for hire.
How many Kabulis can you fit into one of these vans?
A whole two!
In a pinch you sometimes find them on the roof.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Some Unusual Sights...Except in Kabul

Kabul – A fuel convoy was ambushed late yesterday in Logar Province. Three trucks were stolen…

Hazard a guess on where this corner “gas station” gets his gas?
At some point it was probably part of an ambushed convoy.

It is really important for folks to understand that even some “high profile” attacks you see on the news are not necessarily insurgent attacks no matter what the media says.

Banditry is a time-honored profession round these parts. A significant quantity of goods you find at the street vendors has a theft involved at some point on its way to market. Much is hijacked in Pakistan, making its way over rough mountain trails to the cities and villages of Afghanistan.

Still, can things be that bad when you have this?

Small amusement park near the Kabul Zoo.

Or this?

Yep, things are so bad that people can make a living selling balloons and pool toys.

And then there are the chicken places: AFC and KFC.

This is a new store, supposed to open in a couple weeks.
Some may recognize the chicken logo.
They don't quite have it though.
Look closely at the first word below "Afghan."

Wow! KFC in Kabul!

Um, sort of...

There was an IED strike on a US convoy today on the road between Pol-e-Charki and Kabul. One US soldier was killed and three wounded. I have to wonder if it was the young men and women who pulled out on patrol this morning as I was leaving Camp Eggers after breakfast for my own trip across town.

Yes, it is still a dangerous place, but as long as I'm seeing traveling balloon salesmen and new fried chicken stores opening I have to believe there is hope for a better ending. It just might take a while.