Saturday, August 01, 2009
Pssst ... You wanna buy guns
Saturday Afternoon Kabul
Not exactly Mall cruising, but picking up some last minute supplies for the embed. Correspondent Greg Palkot needed some knee guards, myself simply another T Shirt, hopefully without any death head logos embalazzened on the back (which is quite common surprisingly with any t shirt bought in a war ravaged nation, with tens of thousands of Foreign Troops deployed here).
Conor Powell, the Fox News based Correspondent here took us down to the "Bagram Store". Bagram is the enormous Air Base just North of Kabul, and in fact was also used by the Russians during their very succesful campaign here twenty years ago.
The Bagram Store effectively finds what drops off the back of trucks heading to the base, and or somehow buys the rejects and overflow from Army Surplus Stores globally.
Where else can you easily find a Security Pass Holder from an Air Base in Tashkent.
The guys in the store were nice and friendly and more than willing to show us anything we took fancy to, and given that nothing has a price tag, customer service tends to be very attentive.
One of the store salesman struck up a conversation, wherein he told me that he had worked as a translator for NHK TV (Japan) and other Western Media. This is actually quite common here, and like all young men he seemed to be sizing me up to see if there was any potential for work.
Retail therapy completed we left the store. I had just walked out the door when the translator came out and passed a note into my hand, casually as if you were tipping someone. I fully expected it to be a name and telephone number in case we wanted a translator.
I took a couple of steps opened the note and lets say it wasn't call me if you need me note.
"AK weapons, M16 weapons and pistols"
Afghanistan a nation were shopping is... well never dull