Rock at Reuters and Cricket at the Qala

15 11 2009
Cricket at the Fort

Cricket at the Qala

We played cricket with the drivers and guards this evening which was a great break from the dirt and politics of work. Plenty of lost balls over the Qala walls and almost had an injured guard who was fielding too close but all in the name of good fun.

I’ve started practicing my pipes for New Year which the guards love although I’m sure the novelty will wear off before I can actually practice enough to make a reasonable sound. Maybe it’ll be a decent performance by Burns night instead.

Thursday night was a Bollywood party at the Reuters office with live music, one called White City and a local band I can’t remember. It would have been at a different guesthouse but someone was too concerned about security so a new venue was found at short notice. Funny to hear what would be a normal Wednesday band night line-up in London sound so good in Kabul.

White City at the Bollywood party, Reuters.ISAF spent much of last Tuesday helicoptering large steel containers around the hills overlooking the city so perhaps we won’t get any more rockets in the near future. A series of explosions this morning turned out to be a training excercise on a range on the outskirts of the city which is a strange things to have in Kabul. Plenty of practice for everyone.

Karzai’s inauguration is later this week which should make life interesting. They have a dress rehearsal tomorrow, I don’t envy the stand in. Perhaps it’ll actually be him and the real day will be for his double.

I met some friends a week ago who were talking about their experiences over the last 5 years. Some of the stories make current times seem quite quiet although you have to be careful what you wish for. Riots in 2006 particularly lively.

Accounts of warlords in the 1992-96 civil war makes for disturbing reading. What is remarkable is how many of them are apparently forgiven and are now vying for ministerial places. The current Tourism Minister’s past endeavours don’t exactly make him ideal to welcome internationals turning up on his doorstep.

Haircut

Lee and me getting a haircut in Murad Khane

Afghaniman this week is my site architect, Jawad. He is Hazara tribe from Ghazni further south. However his last trip was aborted because there was fighting on the main road. He is bright and proactive. The time spent with him on site and in the office is really beginning to pay off. The other two getting their haircut is myself and Lee Saunders a talented and experienced stone mason from West Ham but now based in Dorset. There aren’t many significant historic stone buildings in England that he hasn’t worked on.

Duncan DJ