Well this is my first blog ever and I am not a good writer so you may find some weird trend of writing here, anyhow lets come to the topic.
At a first glance some people may think I am just going to start about miseries here or injustice or war or something similar but I am just writing here about my personal experiences during my stay so let’s have a one liner introduction why I am here; I work for Nokia Siemens Networks and here I am to support Afghan Wireless.
Just like a common man I was not feeling good when I was coming here, though I used to think that I am a fearless person but trip to Kabul actually gave me opportunity to come out of fool's paradise. The first glance from the plane, just before landing was enough to warn me about the upcoming episode and I felt more conscious; there were thousands of military vehicles I saw just in one glance, but things suddenly changed when I came out of the airport, the outside world was OK enough to make me feel normal and normal enough that I could now breath normally. The driver sent by the company was speaking Urdu and he had been living in Pakistan for almost 2 decades. I reached the guest house in a 'so called' posh area and it was again something more than my expectation because I was ready for living in the worst ever situations of my life but since I landed here every passed moment was making me more calm and relax. The guest house was comparable to a 3 star hotel and comfortable.
This was story of my entrance and as I said before I'll write something about my personal experience and also some observations.
People in general are serious and you'll hardly see smiling faces outside with exception of school going children but people are helpful enough that if you ask them for help they will not run away from you. Bravery is in their blood, I think I have not yet seen any person who is scared of anything.
One thing really nice about this place is if you go out during morning to noon time, all the time you'll see school going children and most important, girls are in vast majority, I don't know why there are more girls than boys but whatever the reason is, I think if women of any nation are educated then all of the nation will be educated one day and as I said all the time you'll see children; they have 3 shifts of schools so almost all the time children are everywhere in the streets. There is also very nice habit I was really inspired that usually car/bus drivers give the children a safe path and if somehow they don't then the traffic police provide them a safe path to cross the road and same thing happens in case of women.
Traffic jams are very common here and very interestingly I have not yet seen any traffic signal. Absence of traffic signal is one of the reasons for traffic jam but the major reason is movement of ISAF forces and sometimes VIP movements as well. You may have to wait for an hour to cross a 2 mins drive road.
I think Afghanis are very fond of eating meat and important thing is that the meat they eat is not cooked enough from my point of view. Its really hard and if you don't chew it properly then you might have to face stomach problems. They usually don't each hot bread like we do in Pakistan and I think the reason behind that is they don't make bread at their homes and on bread shop the baker prepares it before the evening so when people buy the bread, it is already an hour old and mostly very hard to tear.
With my company sources I got to know that this year only 17 engineering graduates were passed from the engineering university in Kabul and out of them 12 applied for job in NSN which means most of them are either not satisfied with their current jobs or they don't have any job, now think this city cannot accommodate on 17 engineers, it does not mean that there is no capacity for them but the problem is that they don't trust their own people and they trust mostly on foreigners. This number of engineers is really not a good sign apparently but if you take it as initial point then lots are yet to come, at least there are people who are doing something in a field where you need to study a lot.
Weather here is a bit predictable and mostly dry but in winter you can enjoy snow fall. Greenery will be hardly seen here, though there are high mountains all around Kabul but unlink other mountain areas, which I have seen, it’s very much dry, just like Baluchistan in Pakistan. People eat so much fat here and according to them it is very necessary to eat fats because the weather is very dry, well I am not sure if they are really right.
When I was coming here, I was making plans to buy very good quality dry fruits in cheap prices but I was shocked to see that Kabul is an expensive city than Islamabad which is the most expensive city in Pakistan also it’s not necessary that you'll find good quality products like dry fruits but for fresh fruits, in my experience most of the time they are good. I was really amazed to see that they import eggs from India, though 99% of the goods are imported here but importing eggs was a surprise for me. According to some local analysis I got to know that 80% of their import is from Pakistan and almost 15% from China and India cumulatively and 5% are rest of the world but even I myself not sure about these stats because I think 90% is coming from Pakistan.
Well this is just a blog and it is getting very lengthy so better to finish it here and if I find some more interesting things then I'll write another one, right now I am just waiting to fly back to my home and see my family.