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Kabul Korrespondence

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

Off The Radar

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hey Y'all

Well its has been too long between posts.
I found the abusive emails I got from friends and colleages demanding to get their weekly fix of Afghan perspective, quite amusing.

With all the work here at Aina Photo
(One month to our big presentation in Perpignan)
Band practice and gigs
(Militant schedules for all members)
Skateboarding lessons for the Afghans
(We are currently looking for sponsors to fund building the first Afghan ramp...)
My Dari lessons
(I've learnt how to say: Can i take your photograph? Mitanam axe bigram?)
Motorcycle riding on Fridays with the Kabul Knights
(Yes we changed the name)
My trip to Iran to shop for new equipment for Aina Photo
(Big thanks Lonely Planet)
And keeping up on the latest score in the Korean hostage crisis
(Please let em go!)

There has been no time to write these posts.
But I promise to elaborate on all of the above in the coming weeks
So dont loose faith
And stayed tuned

I think this photo sums up my current state of mania.
posted by Travis, 11:19 pm | link | 2 comments |

Make way for the Kabul Nomads!

Monday, July 09, 2007

It all started when I got an email from my friend Jezza. He told me he'd bought a bike and was "lovin it". I replied "Yeh I'll get bike too when I get there, a bicycle bike." But after seeing his beaming smile and how much fun he was having, I reconsidered. bought a my Super Kabul that same week.

So the first thing you do after getting the hang of riding is to pimp up your bike, new bullbar and head lights. Im so glad I dragged those knee high boots all the way over here.

Then I found this priceless number plate for my "Lolita". The Afhgans didnt get it.

Jezza got the model up from the super Kabul, the Corolla! Bigger, beefier and complete with "Chips" headlights. He is still searching for the visor.....

He also found an Asian Princess for his bike ( Gladys)

Of course this kind of horsepower always attracts others. This dude came along to show us his clean machine (Afhgan's wash them everyday). The brand name on his bike is "Better". The Chinese are such creative people aren't they.
So after some adventures in outer Kabul's little villages of corrigated roads, we had our first puncture. No worries, there is repair guy on every corner.

The Kabul Nomads have already grown in membership and now includes Ollie and Shazza. We ride every Friday (religiously) and talk shop through the week. I know, I know, I hear you saying "Oh my God, Trav's turning into a rev head. But i need to tell you its different here, In relation to rules I have the same freedom on my motor-bike as my push bike in Australia, but now I have indicators, lots of chrome and an eagle on the front mud guard!

posted by Travis, 6:59 pm | link | 15 comments |

"Im in the band!"

You know, if you had asked me a year or two ago if I'd play rock n roll with a bunch of soldiers.... I probably would have told you to for a long walk round the block, come back, ask me again and see if my answer was still no.

Well that day came around last week. Some NATO boys asked me to join there bass needy band. I thought, hey you gotta know both sides of the situation to be able to tell the real story. So with some optimism in mind I headed down to the "jam container" at ISAF HQ.

Can I just say first off that. For a military unit all the way over here in dusty Kabul, these guys were well equiped (Military: no surprise). They had Marshall and Fender amps, a drum kit, keyboards, even a Gibson SG copy guitar (Angus Young / ACDC style)!

So we had a good wack at it, got into some bass grooves and hailed some solos. Cant say we were Van Halen's prodigy band, but we had loads of fun. The most interesting aspect to this new scene Im hooking into, is that I am learning the psychologiacal makeup of the military. I've heard tales of missing your wife, having to wear the same colour clothes for 1 year straight and being confined to you base 24/7. Just try to imagine coming to such an exotic destination like Afghanistan and only seeing it through the window of a Humvee. They never have opportunities to talk to locals or eat the local food. They can't even walk these streets alone........My life is at right angles to theirs and yet we have found a common link.

And they party too. In their own way. It so surreal to see G.I.s courting on the dance floor. But it hightlights the lonliness of their job. They have to get relief in some way.

So with Antonio from Italy on skins, Rafael from Poland on lead guitar and me on bass we make a pretty diverse cocktail. We are currently looking for a singer, keys player and full horn section if you know anyone working here in Kabul......
posted by Travis, 5:42 pm | link | 2 comments |