On Saturday, a group of us (Afghans and foreigners) went to Paghman. Before we left Kabul we passed two areas of interest. One was the Sikh neighborhood. There is a native Sikh minority in Afghanistan. Under the Taliban they were heavily repressed and forced to wear distinctive clothing. Sounds familiar?. The other was a neighborhood surprisingly tidy, full of new and shiny building. Houses were built in the new afghan style, with marble facades, colored glasswork and decorated iron gates. Others sightings of interest on the way to Paghman included bullet-ridden buildings, lovely adobe villages, less lovely minefields (marked with white and red stones) and the ever present decorated Pakistani trucks.
Once at destination we went for a hike, or as much hike as we could manage since the area still had snow so deep it was reaching our thighs. It was very pleasant and beautiful. We also had ate some freshly made yoghurt that we bought from a local peasant.
For the rest of the day, we ate some of the best kebabs I have had in Kabul, in a small afghan restaurant. Half of the place was occupied by tables; the rest was a room in which people sat on the floor.
We visited the remains of the mausoleum of King Nadir Shah and his family and later we also went to the bazaar that was crowded, colorful and noisy like any self-respecting middle-eastern market.