Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sweden
















I know there are tons of snow in Sweden right now, but I miss this...the beautiful Swedish summer (I guess I am not the only one).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More of Afghanistan

































Various pictures from Afghanistan, a fire station in Jalalabad, Afghanistan from above, helicopter flight, barbwire in Jalalabad, dried fruits and nuts in Mazar-e- Sharif and delicious pilau at a local restaurant in Kabul.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Perspective

The poverty in Afghanistan is something that strikes you as soon as you step out on the streets. Despite the cold temperature, small children are walking on the streets in sandals and thin clothes. The roads are dirty and muddy but still it doesn't prevent them from playing football on the streets. Girls in white head scarfs and pink back packs on their way from school, giggling like young girls do. Proud Afghan women with loose head scarfs and make up in their faces crossing the streets in high heels, others in their blue Burqas. Every where one can see street vendors selling fruits, vegetables, candy, street food, meet. One of the streets downtown is called Butcher Street where the meat is hanging outside the shops, regardless of temperature or weather. On Flower street, the flower shops are gathering and one can see new cars being decorated with fresh flowers for someones birthday or wedding. Young children begging for money is also common on the streets, they know what cars to approach where they see Western faces, chanting: "One Dollar, One Dollar".
The people are very friendly and curious, if you ask permission to take a photo, they usually agree with a smile. Many actually speak very good English and you are amazed to hear that they were once working abroad, studying, travelling, just like us.
What strikes me is that despite the poverty, the madness of all security arrangements, the traffic jam, the constant fear of another bomb blast, the daily life goes on. At the airport, there is a separate security check for women, the woman who examines my bag wears a uniform and the compulsory headscarf, but her make up is beautifully made with brigh red lips and on the table, her open hand bag reveals a pocket mirror and a make up purse. Under the blue Burqas on the street, you will see high heels and a bright skirt or dress, small children with Spiderman toys, girls with Dora back packs, signs of the daily life. This gives me perspective, what am I actually complaining about?