Friday, November 21, 2008

Answering Some Questions

I'm going to start this post answering a couple questions that came up on the previous two posts. Ello asked if people minded getting their picture taken or if they didn't notice me.

It depends. Younger people are less hostile to picture-taking (the under 30 crowd) than the older generations. As I try to take mostly candid shots rather than poses, I try to be inconspicuous and I'm usually not noticed. Some situations can be downright dangerous taking pictures, such as when photographing a warlord and his security team. That is best done at long range with a concealed camera.

Ello also commented that my pictures contrast to the reported violence. On purpose for sure, but violence also isn't as widespread as often reported. Typically there is a flurry of activity, and then weeks of relative quiet...apart from the normal crime one would expect in a big city filled with people trying to scape a living together.

For a while the Karzai government was trying to bow to Westerners who did not want the death penalty in Afghanistan. A week ago he basically said he didn't care what Westerners thought and hanged ten criminals convicted of multiple murders and three serial rapists. In the eyes of the locals, that was justice. Sorry, but they just don't care about liberal ideas when it comes to convicted violent criminals. The general attitude here was that finally some criminals got their due.

Now what did she want me to get?

Security team outside a house.
Even people who are not "warlords" employ armed security
if they can afford it.
There is no shortage of armed men willing to provide security.

Waiting for a ride.

Donkey dumpster diver having a snack.
With all the trash on the streets you'd think there were no dumpters.
In reality what happens is that the dumpsters get dumped
to feed the goats and other livestock.
The humans take anything else useful.
This donkey's owner was collecting soft drink cans.

Veggie vendor having a snack.
Note the size of the red cabage!

Road up into the cliff houses.

This driver tried to take a shortcut around the "roadblock."
This was a dirt road that was being paved.
They often use dirt or other debris to block off construction.

Getting the meat to market.
Any and all means of transport are used.

Market at the lower end of cliff house neigborhood.

Big sis and little brother.
Little brother seems surprised by something.

I've had a bad day!
Man on "beggars row."