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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An anitdote from a fiend who works at NATO HQ:

"So I had to go collect my visa from the Tajik embassy this morning, and realising that I was going to be standing around in a pretty long queue for a while decided to buy some cigarettes. I reached this decision as I was leaving NATO, so on coming out of the gate I went left and walked into the first shop that I could see selling smokes (about 200 metres from the gate). As I only had 20 dollars the shop owner sent his boy away for change.

This short interlude allowed me to observe some of the shop's passing customers, and he clearly caters for those with all sorts of proclivities... moments later an old man, probably only 50 but looked 75, came in, said something very briefly, and immediately from somewhere behind the counter a sealed-bag with about 15 grams of a resinous substance was produced.

The old duffer hands over what looks to be in the region of 80 afs ($US1.60) - and by now I'm paying attention. So I try to catch what he is saying - he asks simply "is it good?". "Very good" comes the reply and satisfied, the coffin dodger hobbles away on his stick. "Is he sick?", I ask, trying to ascertain if this is "medicinal" opium or just hash. "No, he's not sick - he just wants to relax". I must have looked confused as he then clarifies - "charras" (hashish).
posted by Travis, 11:46 am


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