A cup of coffee commits one to 40 years of friendship. (A Turkish proverb).
Traveling through different countries I like collecting local proverbs, saying and different folk tales. I like this one, because I can very much relate to it. A cup of coffee can indeed lead to a long friendship.
I came to visit my friends in Kabul — an Australian family who work here as community developers. Kabul is one of those places that you currently hear and see a lot of TV – for obvious reasons. And you only see and hear about the worst. Things are not like that here at all. Kabul is a lively and interesting place – with very friendly people. People who smile a lot and very happy to exchange greetings – even the officials. Today we went to visit a NZ family who live about 10km from Kabul, 40min away from the house where I’m staying.
Driving there we saw a lost of soldiers, war ruins and women in burkas.
Apparently this was a sewing factory employing a lot of locals. The US dropped a couple of bombs here because they though that the Taliban was hiding in this place.
I asked the family whom we visited today about their neighbors. They said that they were happy. Their kids play with other kids on the streets, they help each other, the live in a community. There is a great sense of community here. With common grief uniting people like nothing else.
Here are some photos I took today. It’s been a very pleasant and exciting day. From having lunch with friends (shashlyk!), driving through the city – Kabul CBD – where all those embassies are, driving along the Jalalabad road (the Kabul-Peshawar road – the one with a lot of military convoys and road blocks), going to an Italian supermarket “Ciano” in the middle of nowhere and coming back home to the sound of a Muslim prayer in the loud speakers in the near mosque (which will probably continue on till 3am in the morning – it’s Ramadan!). It’s been quite a day.
Here is an old (?) man that caught my eye. People just get on the streets for a walk, or windows shopping.
Here is another man that caught my eye. I just realized that it is the same person!
Driving in Kabul is not for fainthearted. There are lots of cars. Lost of smoke. Lots of beeping noise. And lost of beggars sitting in the middle of the road asking drivers for money.
The city of Kabul is located in a ravine resembling the number 8. It is surrounded by hills and mountains covered with little houses like that. I have to think what they do for water of toilets. And it’s painful to think that they would need to clime down and up again every time they need to go to shops.
This is Bush Bazaar in Kabul. Rows and rows of little shops. These produces flowed into the country after the fall of Taliban, when president Bush was in power. Hence the name.
Kabul River is dry. So dry that the grass started to grow in the river bed. And goats.
An odd security guard without an AK-47.
Here is where you go to buy batteries, soap or mobile phone recharge. You can just stop the car at the side of the road and shout to the shopkeeper what you want. He will then bring it over to the car.
A lady in burka. This is my favorite photo from Kabul.
A very kind Tadzhik man, looking after a local property for a job.
Kids on the road. Working. Everyday life in Kabul.