Finishing off the year

5 12 2009

Marshal Fahim's house in the Panjshir valley. President Karzai's head of military. This is another new extension to his sizable house.

Life is quiet here as the winter closes in and people start to think about heading home for Christmas. The Jewellery School site progresses well although I will have to give up responsibility for it in the New Year as my other work such as installing Kabul’s first sewage treatment plant (not glamorous but worthy) and managing overall progress on the other Murad Khane sites takes over.

Although all is well it has been the last week that has made me begin to look forward to coming back for Christmas and especially New Year. I had thought it would be the weather but the sun still shines and when it rains it keeps the dust down.

Another view of the mountains around Istalif. Definitely skiing country once the snow's around.

I have been reliably informed by a friend that he is to publish a short article my day to day life on the BBC business website. A few of my more interesting exploits have been packed into one day but it make for entertaining reading even if I say so myself. I will let you know when it’s been posted.

For locals the Kabul social scene largely revolves around a few hang-outs and then there’s the wedding halls. These overly modern four to six storey buildings stand out above the crumbling concrete and mud buildings surrounding the city centre. Clad in glass the have bright flashing lights, each a picadilly circus in their own right. As marriage is the biggest step up the social hierachy these are big affairs with the groom stumping up much of his earnings to entertain the wider friends and family. Often the only time when the wife will be seen publically dressed up the Kabul beauty parlours double up as wedding services and photographers. Although everyone may arrive together the men and women separate for the entire evening with a large banquet hall for each. An impossibly large quantity of food is followed by energetic dancing for as long as anyone can stand. Afterwards the wedding party drive around town hanging out of the window with horns and lights blaring out. Aparently these wedding parties are a strong link to Pakistani culture but were less popular during Taliban times in the 90s.

One of Kabul's many Wedding Halls

No Afghaniman this week.

Duncan DJ