Showing posts from February, 2013

Smiles, stares and the streets of Kabul.

Kabul. I start writing this with the lights out. There is another of Kabul's periodic power cuts. Choppers above shake the glass in the window frames with a low bass thump thump thump. This is not a city at war in the sense of shelling and battle lines, nor is there (at least presently) a constant supply of suicide bombers. On arrival here I was forced into quarantine due to a lack of house keys. The outside world became more intense in my imagination as I was unable to challenge the media mythologies I arrived with. Finally I have been let out. So here  is a story of the people I have met and places I have been so far, walking, in the streets of Kabul.

The dusty mud streets in most areas of town are arranged with a rag-tag collection of low rise buildings. Some are protected by groups of armed guards others are empty plots, holes in the ground, dusty arcades or decaying mud structures. High walls, barbed wire and metal gates are the norm. No one here has ground floor windows unle…