Afghanistan Diary
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
  Dogs with Rabies
Sweet discovery: the water supply unit has a detailed digitalized topographical map of the whole country. It is a 30 years old map, so here and there things have change a bit, but nevertheless it is a good map. And the best part is: it comes already georeferenced. I don’t know if I will use it in my project (I might) as the street map I have is more useful for most purposes. However, having this resource is great. Once I get my gps (in a few weeks) I will be able to download accurate map to my gps anywhere I go in Afghanistan.

I took a step back in my project, and I am now studying a few introductory chapter I had skipped. I am still hoping to start coding on the graphics part this Saturday.

One of the expat. Working for DACAAR has a dog. She was on holidays and asked one of her colleagues to take care of it in her absence. Yesterday, I heard the dog was very sick. I offered to go there. The dog was in pitiful shape. She had lost much of her coat, and underneath, the skin was irritated. The dog was still friendly. It was too late to do anything so we came back today at lunch time. Alexendra (the owner) was back already and the vet was there. He had just put her down (her, that is the dog, not Alexendra). As it turned out, the dog had rabies. As much as it saddens me, killing the dog (putting her to sleep if you prefer hypocritical euphemisms) was the right thing to do. Not only was the dog in a far too advance stage of the disease to be cured, but more importantly a dog with rabies constitute a serious health hazard. I would be very surprised if the chawkidars (guards) were vaccinated against rabbies and they are around the dog. I guess that is why you should vaccinate your pets against rabbies, but it is not an easy thing to do here. In general, people just don't have dogs as pet and this is true for most of the muslim world.

Giovanni (the guy looking after the dog) has some ethical problems caring about a dog when some many people needs care around us. I understand what he means; it is indeed indecent (but so is spending $10 on a meal). The thing though, is that I really like dogs, I feel a certain connection with them. Dogs like me and I feel good around them. Sometimes I think I like dogs more than people (which is not to say that I think one should care about dogs and not about people).
 
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
 
I spent the evening reading on graphic classes. I thought I had found the right book (an electronic edition). Unfortunately, when I tried the examples, after reading the 60 pages chapter, none of them worked, and I don’t mean that there were a typo or two, every f* line generated an error. I don’t know if the author wrote his book based on a beta release or what. I think I will have to look for a good book here or hunt down more info on msdn (which is a little difficult given that I don’t have internet access at home). Thing is, I have more than half a dozen e-books on VB.Net and C#, but only the one I tried today goes into graphics. My java library is actually much better but I would really prefer to use something simple like vb.net.

Other than that, ok day at work. I also found some supplies for my project online, things I could not live without, like a y splitter for car cigarette adaptor (do you realize how essential that is to run both my pda and my gps off the battery?) and a pda car mount.

To add to the frustration, Dell cancelled my PDA order. Go figure why, probably I could not tell them accurately the phone number on file with my bank (He, I forget. You know how many times I change phone number?) or my daily limit was reached. Anyway, they told me to contact their customer service but it’s a 800 number so I can’t call from here and… these things quickly become a major hassle. I gave another try to the order and if it fails, I have a contingency plan. I really want a Dell though.
 
Monday, April 25, 2005
  One of many shisha nights
shisha night in Kabul
 
  More of the same

My software project is progressing nicely. My work (for-a-living work) is not going well on the other hand. It is dull and repetitive. I am hopelessly and utterly bored and I have to make the greatest efforts to get anything done at all. I taken a number of steps to try to get more interesting projects, but they are still far from materializing. If you had asked me a month ago, I would have said my intention was to stay probably twelve months or more. At this point, I am actually wondering how long more I can stand designing little Access apps. I like Kabul and my workplace fine, it is just the work.

I came here to make a difference and to live an adventure. A difference, I don’t think I make any. As for the adventure, believe it or not, it is rather tame. I guess I feel discouraged. I am glad that I have my own project to keep me sane.

I explained a portion of my software to my flatmate and she wasn’t at all impressed, it was rather amusing (“Why don’t you just learn to read a map?”). My parents had the same reaction. It is difficult to explain technical progress to people who are not technology minded. I mean, I could travel to work on the back of a donkey as well, the fact is I use a car. My geek friends are quite excited on the other hand. We are looking forward to driving a geekmobile that has a number of high-tech navigation instruments attached to the windshield. The way I look at it is like this. When man stopped having fur, he got cold and invented fire. When he no longer had teeth strong enough to devour an animal carcass, he invented tools (and cooking). Well, for those of us who no longer have the sense of direction: we invent a software for PDA and gps. It is a no brainier.

I ordered myself a nice little PDA. I took the nicest one I could find, one that has a 640x480 resolution display (remember the time, not so long ago, when we were designing web pages for that resolution?), WI-FI and Bluetooth. I will order a windshield mount also. The only thing I would like are a good reference book on VB.Net (might be possible to buy locally) and one on Beginning Math for 3D graphics.

Oh yeah, and there was an explosion on Jalalabad road tonight. I don’t know the details. It is possible that it was close to the ISAF base, but I am just speculating. We have been asked to stay home.

I have been doing some thinking on the routable Map creator program I want to write (I actually already started a bit). The aim of the program is to help me extract the routable information from the map. I think I might end up writing it in C#, because I have better reference material for C# than for VB.Net (even though the later would have my preference). Reading about ADO.NET tonight, will read on all graphic classes next. It might take me a while, hopefully by Saturday I hope I will be able to do some coding.

 
Sunday, April 24, 2005
  The holy grail getting closer ...

I wasn’t able to find a map authoring software for Pocket PC that supports routing information. As a result, I re-visited the idea of writing my own. I thought that creating the routing algorithm would be the main challenge. I made a deal with myself that if I was able to write a suitable algorithm, I would buy myself a Pocket PC. The rationale was that if that problem were solved, there is no reason why writing the software would be impossible.

I started to do some research, and against all expectations, the algorithm in question is well-known from CS (Computer Science) students and is rather simple.

So, it looks like I will be getting myself a Pocket PC. After all, I am learning to program for things. Getting a device costs me a few hundreds, attending a course would cost me several thousands.

My plan for this week-end is to learn enough of VB.NET to program this. I choose VB.NET for the time being because 1)there is support for the Pocket PC platform and 2) there is an VB.NET API that exists to get data from the gps and 3) it is quite easy and VB.NET is now pretty object oriented. Long term though, I don’t know if I will keep it in that language. It would be pretty cool to do it in Java if there is a version of Java Virtual Machine for Pocket PC. Java has a 3D graphic API, You see where this is going? A 3D navigation system, now that… But I am getting way ahead of myself. Gosh, I haven’t been so excited about programming for a very long time.

*

* *

VB.Net would not be that simple if I did not know some vb and Java. It is just amazing how much they ripped off from Sun’s programming language. Basically VB.Net is a kind of simplified Java with some odd VB syntax here and there. It is not a politically correct thing to say, but I rather like VB.Net and Visual Studio.Net. Perhaps I should try to find a similar IDE for Java. Whatever vi freaks might say, a good intuitive visual IDE (e.g. definitely not vi) makes a difference. Sure I can code with DOS edit or Notepad, but why would I? It is funny because I study Java for some time, but hardly ever practiced it and now, with VB.NET it all starts to really fall into place. At first sight, it sounds neat that you can use a variety of programming language to program for the .Net environment, however, VB.NET and C# are so alike, I don’t know why they bothered.

Many, probably even most people hate programming. This is just a sign that they are healthy and sane. It is intrinsically frustrating, yet, at its best, it is quite an addictive activity. The thing is that, it always looks like you getting so pretty damn close. Just one more try and perhaps…

*

* *

At last, I did it! It took me an embarrassingly long amount of time, but it works. I got a program that calculates the approximated shortest path between two points based on a map. There is still plenty for me to program: to get the information in a db or file, to write another application to simplify the measuring and georeferencing of Kabul’s image map, to graphically display directions and last but not least to use gps information.

I am thinking that perhaps I should be ambitious for once and try to write a software of commercial quality. It is not the first time I work on a project that has a commercial potential, but I have never carried this through, in part, no doubt, because I am not that great a businessman.

But right now, I deserve a break. I am not sure how to reward myself. I am going to get some easy to watch DVD and to chill down a bit.

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* *

I got myself some movies and some software (various dev. tools including JBuilder Enterprise and Oracle 10g). Unfortunately, when I got home the DVD player died. It is pretty bad because it is not even mine, it is a loaner. I may end up having to buy two dvd players: one for the house and one to replace the loaner that broke. Shit, that’s really expensive. My eyes are too tired to read. I’ll have a nap instead…


 
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
  Geek note continued
I spent all of last evening trying to create a color vector map of Kabul.

 
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
  More on being a geek

I have been sick for the last couple of days and my productivity at work has peeked at 10% of what it usually is. It was nothing too bad, but serious enough for me to use one of my joker cards: a course of large spectrum antibiotic that nukes any bad bacteria in your system in three days.

Meanwhile, being naturally a little obsessive with things, I have pursued my quest for the ultimate navigation system in Kabul (the holy grail as far as I am concerned). The problem is that there are no good ready made gps maps for this city. There is on the other hand a very good map of Kabul (in Adobe Acrobat format). The challenge is to use it with a gps navigation device.

Below is a log of my activities (skip if you are not a geek). Email any suggestion you might have.

Now that I found out how to create a custom map for my gps, I can’t help but think What about creating a routable map of Kabul (i.e. maps giving turn by turn directions). Unfortunately, I do not believe this is possible with Magellan GPSes. It is possible on some Garmin units but I think it requires a software that is extremely expensive.

On the way to the software shop I had my first flat tire (a very common occurrence in Kabul). People are very generous here, when it comes to providing assistance and in no time a crowd had gathered first to coach, then to assist the inept foreigner. As a thank you, I ended up buying two overpriced socks from the street seller who assisted me the most.

Infrastructure is developing in Afghanistan, roads are getting better and in Kabul, there has been a recent proliferation of traffic signs (still there really aren’t many) that just did not exist a couple of months ago.

At work, I presented my idea to use a PDA to simplify the data entry process in the field and it was well received. Depending on the cost, there is a chance that I might get the green light. I have been templted to get a Pocket PC myself, as I really would like to learn how to program for these devices but I don't know if I can really afford it right now.

 
  Sense of direction (or lack thereof)

I do not have the sense of direction. I mean, not at all. It is hard to convey how frustrating it is, humiliating even, especially, if you don’t like to rely on others people. According to my cousin, a psychology professor (who himself could not find his way out of a paper bag), there is a strong genetic component to the ability to orient oneself in space. I take this as meaning that I am screwed no matter how much I try.

From a fairly young age, I have taken the habit of carrying with me a map of the city I am in at all times. I also memorize how to get to places, but the fact that I know how to get somewhere, in no way implies that I will be able to retrace my steps later.

About five years ago, I found the ultimate device for retards such as myself: a gps. In case you don’t know, it is a navigation device, that indicates your position (calculated by satellite) relative to others points of interests and/or a map. I hesitated to bring a GPS with me when leaving for Afghanistan. At the last minute, I decided against it. “No need to be geekier than I need to, I’ll manage with a map,” I thought. What a mistake that was! For a start, street names (or house numbers for that matter) are never indicated, which makes a map pretty useless, should you get lost. On top of that, I met fellow geeks here, who use GPSes on a daily basis, which make me green with envy.

I decided buy myself a nice gps. One that works for hiking, cycling and for driving and gives turn by turn directions in the US and in Europe. However, the post being what it is, I couldn’t have it delivered here, instead I had it shipped to my friend Babak in Holland who will bring it when he comes back to Kabul. The whole process takes months.

 
Sunday, April 17, 2005
  Just another week-end

Nothing much to report: last week-end was rather sober by the last few weeks’ standard. Thursday night we had dinner at the Iranian restaurant and we smoked shisha at the DACAAR staff house with our afghan colleagues. On Friday, I went to a Hash. The first part of the walk was painful due to the unbearable stench of open sewers (a common thing in Kabul), but the second consisted of a nice, though strenuous, hike to the top of a hill. After that, we had the usual hash circle. I was “baptized,” that is to say I received my hash name, but I won’t share it here. Later, I had a few drinks with some guys at a guesthouse, followed by dinner at the “dumpling house” (cute waitress, ok food). There we had a heated discussion about monarchy. Having grown up in a constitutional monarchy myself, I personally developed a rather complex and nuanced opinion on the matter (behead ‘em).

I haven’t decided what to do with the hash. It is really good for me socially (it is nice to meet new people) and physically (I am out of shape here). However, it also strikes me as so culturally insensitive at times that I don’t know that I want to have any part in it. For instance, Friday’s hike passed through a cemetery. There was a path there, but really cemeteries are a place to honor and mourn the dead, not to do recreational sightseeing. In addition, the hash circle took place in the garden. It is surrounded by tall walls but neighbors can still see and hear from the second floor windows, and I am just not comfortable with singing drinking songs in that context. It is not like people don’t drink here. In fact, I have yet to meet an Afghan who does not drink when given the opportunity, and that includes people who pray five times a day, but that does not mean that drinking takes place in the open. The philosophy here seems to be that whatever takes place inside someone’s home is nobody’s business. My instinct is to leave the hash, but I supposed a more mature attitude would be to discuss my concerns with the group. We’ll see.

Babak, my friend and partner in crime, is leaving today although he will be back in June. His departure will leave a gap here; he is a fun guy to be around.

Some news on the work front: lately, work has been rather dull. I am waiting for the management to release the funds necessary for a well-needed system upgrade I have been looking forward to. In the meantime, I am stuck with designing Access applications, which is hardly challenging (there is not much to Access, really). Such is the nature of computer work, for each interesting project, you get five boring ones. I am waiting for a meaty project, but I get tedious ones instead. However, I have been thinking of a way to streamline a terribly cumbersome process that plagues the Water Supply Unit, using pocket PCs hocked up to GPSes. It is not terribly likely that management would go for it, given the financial mess DACAAR is currently in, but I will make a pitch anyway. I would really like to do that. It would give me a change to learn news skills (.Net, designing PowerPC apps, toying with GIS even) and most of all it would be real fun and it is guaranteed to simplify the work of a number of people. In fact, I have been so excited about it, I have started to learn .Net already. I got Visual Studio .Net Enterprise Edition and a CD full of electronic books for a few bucks at a local store.

 
Sunday, April 10, 2005
 
I received a letter today. An old fashioned paper letter. So despite everything I said, it appears that the post does work (at least in Kabul). Of course, it did take over two months for the letter to arrive, but the important thing is that it did. For reference, here is my address, but do not send anything valuable as I doubt it would arrive.

Lev Weinstock (IT UNIT)
DACAAR
PAIKOB-E-NASWAR
WAZIRABAD
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

There was an attempt to abduct a foreigner in Kabul today.
 
  Hidjab

Some time ago, I mentioned that women may wear a hidjab or even a burka in one context, then take it off later. I thought it was puzzling. Sure, social pressure account in part for women covering themselves in the street but that is not all. My mistake was to think that because women cover their hair, there is a taboo on showing one’s hair in public. If you think, in terms of taboo, then it does not make any sense that the same person sometimes wears it, sometimes doesn’t. I think that it may be better thought of as a matter of decency. What is decent in one context is not in another. There is nothing strange there, you don’t dress the same to go to a club, to hang out with friends or to go to work.

 
 

A group of us (two Afghan and three expats) went to Salang today. It was alright, but not the best outing we have made. The drive is scenic. We would have liked to venture off the main road into local villages but the two Afghans we were with were adamant this was not a good idea (in their own words “We cannot guarantee your safety there”). We reluctantly did the right thing and followed their advice.

Today, I was asked for the first time by an Afghan man what my religion was. It came to me as a surprised that it took so long for somebody to ask the question. According to my past experiences in the muslim world, it is usually about the first question one is being asked. I answered honestly (“I am a Jew”) without getting into the specifics (“ethnically and culturally a Jew, atheist as far as religion is concerned”). I have been trying to keep a low profile here, in order not to make myself to appetizing a target. I haven’t forgotten Daniel Perl. I mean, getting shot is one thing, but having one’s head sawed off… that’s just unacceptable! You’ve got to draw the line somewhere.

Seriously though, we are not much in danger here. I talked to somebody today and according to him, there is no way that in Kandahar we would have the freedom to drive ourselves around like we do here.

 
  Beggars

In general, there are no that many beggars in Kabul, compared to others places where I have been. Sure, there are some of them (usually with a limb missing) standing in the middle of the road asking drivers for money, but in most places one is not so harassed. Some neighborhoods, such a Flower street are a notable exception. Kids try aggressively to sell newspapers, gums or they asked straight out for money. Sometimes, they hold some thin can that contains coal and some shrub. People spread some smoke it produces around cherished possessions or people to protect them against the evil eye. According to somebody with whom we discussed today, this is an Islamic tradition (clearly it is not). Funny the thing with spreading the smoke appears in many cultures.

At first, I was embarrassed and did not know what to do when kids came to me. I feel a little more comfortable dealing with it now. I do give sometimes but the problem is that if you do, you are guaranteed to have an army of dirty kids in rags following you for money. They are really nice kids for the most part but it is difficult to be followed like that.

The others types of beggars are women, always wearing the burka and often holding a child. They do no only beg, they wail. They are also extraordinary resilient and may follow you for a long time.

The other day an article in the Kabul times (a four-pages English newspaper) read something like “measures have been taken to move the beggars to a previously discussed location.” Frightening, isn’t it? Anyway, when you are eventually done with your shopping, you still have to fight your way to your vehicle. Kids claim they have been watching the car while you were gone and ask for a reward. In addition, no matter how many times and how firmly you say no, somebody is going to wash you car and request payment.

 
 

I went to a party last night. I had been told it was a salsa party and I was looking forward to see how rusty my dancing skills were. Unfortunately, there was no salsa dancing (well, one or two songs perhaps). The good thing however, was that the bar was well provided with rum. I drink little or nothing during the week, but on Thursday nights, I seem to have contracted the habit of drinking most of a bottle of hard liquor. Oddly, it does not even give me a hangover the next day. As I like to say, I have been trained in Belfast (where any self-respecting man or woman drinks 6-10 pints between five and eleven pm, safely gets home and is at work on time the next day). The part I like the least about this is the discomfort I feel when passing the chawkidars when I get home. I haven’t drunk like this since my high school days.

I think in part it is the lack of “things to do” in Kabul that makes people join parties. Hobbies, organized activities are a very middle-class consumerist concept. It does not translate well in many part s of the world. In the West, people are ideally expected to have a hobby and some fixed portion of time dedicated to it (say: going to the gym twice a week and play guitar with a band on Saturday). Not here. Expats have plenty of opportunity to get tense during the week (work frustration, living conditions more difficult than those they are used to, security concerns,. …). We need to decompress in a place we can lift the rules of behaviors we need to abide by during the week. I do want to meet Afghans socially (and I do), but the all expats parties are a place where to let off steam.

People were very excited to introduce me to a French speaking Belgian. I don’t have an iota of patriotic fiber in me. I know it came from a good place and I din’t mean to be rude… but who gives a fuck (excuse my language) if he comes from the same depressing puny place as I do? I have been trying to sever my ties to that country for well over a decade, and I have been rather successful at it.

Before the party, we watched a very forgettable movie. The movie (in English) had English subtitles as well. As is often the case, the subtitles were not a straight transcription of the dialogue and in many cases did not make any sense whatsoever (e.g. “Kazakhstan arrives”). The explanation I have been given (and I accept it short of a better one) is that the movie is first translated into Chinese subtitles, then were translated from Chinese to English). Talking about this, I saw a great piece of afghan English today “French bakery, a frEnchised bakery.”

My dad called me as well. It called at a bad time, the connection was very poor and I was rather curt on the phone. The thing is, I haven’t talked to him for a while, and he starts with his fatherly concerns (“what are you going to do next?”). Party pooper! I still am still in Kabul for a while and have plenty of time to think about it. Really, I just got here. To tell the truth, I have however, been asking myself the same questions. I have a number of options: trying to extend my stay, get a similar assignment somewhere else, do contract work in the US and short assignment abroad with geekcorps or a similar organization, or try to land with a job at the UN. The appeal here is that if I work with them, the INS won’t be on my back to question my residency, while if I work with an NGO, they will (good news by the way the INS paper I need to come back to the country have arrived).

Every year, I try to learn one computer skill or two. I am not sure what I want to learn this year. There are many programming skills that appeal to me, however, most techies jobs in the developing world are for system administrator and network engineer. Perhaps I should try to gain some skills in that area. Either that or I get back on the Oracle certification track.

I have been a little disappointed in myself and in the way I live here. I think in part, it comes from my anthropological training. I tend to think of the anthropological fieldwork as the standards by which my way of living in Afghanistan should be measured. I have to remind myself that I not doing a fieldwork here. I just live here and make myself as comfortable as possible in spite of constraints placed on us due to security. That does not prevents me from being interested in the country and in meeting Afghan people (well really, Afghan men). The other part that makes me uncomfortable is to be rich by local standards and to have a guard, a cleaner and a gardener. To be perfectly honest, I am getting used to that part.

I am temporary living in the house by myself. The two Danish ladies with whom I shared the house left, and Lyn is temporary staying at a guesthouse to help a friend. I am outmanned by the chawkidars at night.

 
Thursday, April 07, 2005
 

Today, a shooting took place a few blocks form my office. Over the last ten days, there has been a number of fatal attacks, mostly targeted to the military. The last NGO worker to meet a violent death in Kabul was Steve Mc Queen, exactly one month ago.

 
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
  More on driving in Kabul

There is no such thing as traffic lights, neither is there anything like the right of way. Drivers threat every intersection as a four-way stop with the difference that they do not stop. Occasionally, a policeman is there to help guiding the traffic. Roundabouts exist but cars go around them clockwise and counter-clockwise. The absence of street signs is matched by that of any traffic signal. Signalling is, needless to say, discouraged (it’s nobody’s business where you going). To the best of my knowledge, there is not speed limit though speedbumps, potholes, donkeys, goats (and in the winter: snow and ice) do a good job of slowing cars down. Cars take over on your right and left, and to add to the confusion, the number of lanes (never painted on the asphalt) can vary depending on the inclination of the drivers. Given these conditions, it is quite admirable that there are so few incidents because there really do not appear to be many.

 
  Last week-end

More attacks over the week-end, still on military targets.


kids playing next to an abandonned tankOn Friday, I took part to a nice hike with Kabul Hash House Harriers. We went to an area closed to where I live where there is a nice adobe fort (I do not know when it was built). The weather was pleasantly warm, and there were plenty of goats and kids playing next to the fort and a few abandoned tanks nearby. The building had a beautiful recently built staircase that on closer inspection appeared to be made entirely out of canon shells.


demining staircase made out of bomb shells

On Saturday, we went to Baghram. It was nice to get out of the city although there was no much to see there. It is a small town, whose main attraction is the US military base but we could not get in. We did some shopping there and you could tell that we had just been paid because the two IT boys that were with us went on a spending spree.


In the evening, there was a farewell party for Jesper and Babak (but not really for the later because he will be back soon). Party was pleasant but most of all, I had a fun time with Babak, ordering massive amount of food from street vendors.


Sunday: Busy day at work. Another farewell drink, for one of my flatmate this time. She will be back this summer.

 
Friday, April 01, 2005
  Shisha night

I had a very pleasant night smoking shisha (waterpipe) at the DACAAR staffhouse. DACAAR provides subsidized housing to its employees. Many opt for this option, either because they are young and without family, or else because their family is not in Kabul. Either way it enables them to save some money on living expenses. For 20$ per month, charge included, DACAAR provides clean accommodations with basic facilities (four people per room), a cleaner and a guard.


Shisha is not common in Afghanistan. Certainly less so that many places in the Middle East, and even less than in neighboring Pakistan. The only establishment I know where one can smoke shisha in Kabul is an Iranian restaurant. There are also one or two shops selling shishas and accessories (tobacco, special coal and pre-cut sheet of aluminium to put between the tobacco and the coal. I hear that in Pakistan, where shisha has always been smoked (I am not sure how frequently), it is even becoming a little bit of a fad to smoke for young trendies like ourselves (not).


It is a cliché to say that in many muslim countries certain demonstrations of physical affections between men are considered totally acceptable and have nothing to do with being gay. This is very true in Afghanistan. It is not uncommon for men to hold hands (whereas I have yet to see a man and a woman holding hand in public). Last night, I was surprised to see how two of the guys kept holding and touching each other.


Somebody told us that Mazar is renowned for having the best hashish in the world. Now you tell me! Before I was told this, I thought we had had a great trip. It is obvious now, that our drug free visit was an abysmal failure. Apparently, in some part of Kabul, it is not uncommon for stores to sell hashish under the counter apparently.


I actually found some good DVDs. I mean, not just Hollywood mainstream. We are talking Almodovar and Kurosawa here! Of course, some of them have some flaws. Most discs contain five films. Inevitably one or two do not work properly. Also another DVD (special japanese cinema) contained an American series that bore no similarities whatsoever with the advertised content. A friend of mine got a DVD whose subtitles clearly belonged to another movie. Oh yes, I wrote recently that one could buy software releases that do not even exist. You can also purchase movies that do no exist (Star War IV, Toy Story III).

 
This is my diary. My name is Lev and I work in Kabul for a non-governmental organization (dacaar.org).

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Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
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