Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Please Check Your Weapons at the Door
Today I went to the PXs for the first time. I guess PX is a military term for store, but the shops I visited were not on an army base; they were on the outskirts of Kabul and are privately owned. Very obviously catering to foreigners, these places have pretty intense security - they are walled in and have guards at the gate who check the undercarriage of the cars for bombs, and check your passport - I guess you have to be an expat to get in. Both of the PXs that we visited today have signs like the one I've posted in the picture. . .
Inside the PX they have a schmorgasboard (spelling?) of European and American products, everything from sneakers and athlete's food spray to chocolates and coffee. Until recently, they also sold alcohol. Nathan and I stocked up on chips, salsa, ice cream and chocolate (which melted all over the inside of one of the bags), q-tips and shaving cream. Oh, and coke. I am attached to my coke when it's available. . .
On the way out of the second PX - we were on a mission for laundry detergent that wouldn't make us itch - right by the gate to leave, I saw a sign demarking the terror level. Apparently, we are currently at level orange, which is what the US was at when I was leaving. We've had one assassination (of a minister of women's affairs) and several suicide bombings, or suicide bomb attemts since I've been here. I think it is fascinating that Kabul and Chicago are on the same terror alert at the moment. . .
Tomorrow I'm going to Jalalabad to visit some of our partner NGOs. I will definitely bring my camera and try and get some decent pictures. So far, all of my photo ops in Kabul have been from a moving vehicle, and they don't come out very well . . .
at 5:53 AM