Friday, April 3, 2009

Photo Op

So, I get to the bazaar and pull out my camera to take photos. A local vendor immediately asks me to take a picture of him, so I say, "sure, no problem." I didn't realize he wanted a photo shoot. Here is the first photo I took:

So he wants to look at the photo and says, "No, no take it again." He then proceeds to turn his hat around and changes his expression a little. And here is the much improved and approved result.
It was kind of funny how insistent he was that I take his picture. The vendors all speak English well as well as Romanian (there are quite a few Romanians stationed here as well). They are very pushy and as soon as you get near they will swarm you and insist that you look at their products. I tend to prefer to talk to the less pushy ones. The people are nice though if you can get past their desire to sell you something.

The Bazaar

Thursday in Qalat means one thing...that's right the Bazaar! It's the only show in town (literally), and it's the place to be if you have money to spend (because there is nowhere else to spend it). Every Thursday, weather permitting, and if there have been no attacks on the FOB, several local merchants are able to enter the FOB to sell their wares. There is a small area where they are able to set up shop on a few tables under shade. The items up for sale vary widely, from discarded pistol holsters to bootlegged copies of movies.
They have quite a few things made out of stone, such as cups, bowls, and chess pieces.

They also have quite a selection of woodworking as well. Seeing as how there are almost no trees anywhere that I have been in Afghanistan, we asked where the wood is from. Apparently up North near Jalalabad they have trees. I'll have to take their word on it.

And here are the DVDs. It looks like they are imported from China. You can get an entire TV series for about $1.50 a DVD. For example, we negotiated six seasons of 24 on 48 DVDs down to $70 from $96. We looked at the DVDs and they look professionally done, right down to the image printed on each DVD. They also have poor copies of movies that have just come out in the theater. Those cost about $2 a DVD.