Friday, October 17, 2008

Some More Street Scenes

Just another series of "Street Scenes" today. Things have been pretty normal by anyone's standards lately. In a recent report on the world's most violent cities, neither Baghdad nor Kabul appeared in the top ten. You have a better chance of getting killed in New Orleans, than in Kabul. Something to think about.

Generally, the Afghans are some of the most polite and courteous people I've ever met. There is an old saying: "An armed society is a polite society." Certainly fits here since everyone can have an AK. Pistols, on the other hand are forbidden. Their logic is that a pistol can be hidden and is therefore more dangerous. It's a bit hard to conceal an AK.

College girl walking home near Kabul University.
Just about everyone has a cell phone round these parts.

Young women chatting outside Kabul University.

This little girl was having trouble with the loaves she was carrying to her father's bakery.
This boy saw her struggling and lent a hand.
Such courtesy is quite common here.

A cobbler chats with customer.
You see these guys all over town setting up shop on sidewalks.

A local vendor takes a chai (tea) break.

The sun comes up behind the mosque.
This is a solar-powered society.
Which means the sun triggers human activity,
not the clock.

Sunrise over the demining camp.
The demining teams train here.
They then go out in the countryside to find the mines.
This is the most heavily mined country in the world, courtesy the Soviets.
There are daily reports of civilians finding mines the hard way.
Demining teams are among the few groups the Taliban leaves alone.
Even they appreciate what these guys do.

The Bravest Men in Kabul.
The traffic cops.
I kid you not. They earn this title for two reasons.
First, they are in uniform and unarmed.
Being in uniform makes them automatic targets.
Second, they stand in the roads all day,
surrounded by the craziest drivers in the world.
Afghans undergo a transformation when you get them behind the wheel.
They aren't so polite and courteous when they are driving.

Bin Laden Mosque.
Supposedly, Bin Laden put up the money that got this mosque started.
However, I don't think the locals intend to name it after him anymore.

Spiderman Sighting.
Shortly after Eid I saw this young guy out playing in his new outfit.
It came complete with fake muscles.