Thursday, September 24, 2009

Side Streets

Eid has come and gone. Things are getting back to a normal rhythm and the days are getting shorter. I indulged in kebobs, naan and palau today for lunch. One can only drive past the kebob stands so many times without saying, "enough is enough! I'm hungry!"

One of the advantages we have in traveling around town is that we drive in unarmored vehicles that look like all the other Afghan vehicles. Which means we often travel where no armed convoys or patrols travel and that means getting to see "ordinary Afghans in their natural environment." We also get stuck in ordinary traffic, like we did last night for two hours getting home. It's often funny when the locals look in our vehicle and suddenly realize that we're not from around here.

So here's some shots of side streets in Kabul that you don't often see unless you leave the more popular/busy routes through town.

A talk by the sewer. Hard to escape the open sewers.

See what I mean? Another open sewer.

Or else one dodges pedestrians in torn-up muddy side streets.

Or, the really old part of town, no sewer at all. Just a dirt road.

In preparation for coming improvements, double sewer!

Then again, there's the dirt ditch in the dirt alleyway.

Ok, the open sewer is out of sight right now,
but it's right by the woman's feet as she inspects pears.
Note the more modern building surrounded by mud brick structures.

The goats get a brand new cement runway up the hill to the cliff houses.

College student emerging from alleyway on the way to school.

Another muddy road without proper drainage.
This one is one of the lower roads into the cliffhouses.

Another improved alleyway. These people must have connections.

Yes, there is electricity these days, even in the poorer parts of town.
Of course driving such roads is an adventure.

Which pretty much sums up the Afghan style of driving.
Yes, taken on the streets of Kabul just yesterday afternoon!


Charles Gramlich said...

Definitely gives a feel of how the other half lives. Wow.

Barbara Martin said...

Very interesting to see these photos of the regular streets and alleys, J.L.

Gotta love that last photo of the car and the flag on the right side.

Ello said...

Great photos as usual! I love that last one with the car!

momcat said...

Just like Africa. Of course our streets are tarred but not very nicely maintained. At the moment I'm driving with (I think) two shock absorbers gone and its very hard on the car and its occupants.

J. L. Krueger said...

I often think Americans lack a sense of how good they really have it. A visit or two to places like this would do many Americans a lot of good.

I thought you'd get a kick out of the Canadian flag sticker. The two most common flag stickers are German and Canadian.

Yeah I got a real laugh the day I saw that one!

On the plus side, the holes in the roads slow people down. On the negative side, the swerving to avoid the holes results in many close calls.