Friday, September 15, 2006

Maintaining Caddies and Kittens

It seems like I’m coming back to Kabul with the tourist mentality that I surely didn’t have when I left before my break.

Today, our day off, my coworker (who covered my job while I was gone) and I went to the Kabul Golf Club to play three holes. We followed that by a trip to the Babur Gardens. And finally stopped by Chelsea (the “western”/expat grocery store) to pick up cat food for the kittens he’s adopted.

The course is on the outskirts of the city, up in the hills next to Qargha Lake. As can be seen on their website, they pander to the imperial cowboy expat crowd in Kabul (“Extreme Golf With an Attitude”). The air was nice, the weather was wonderful, and watching my two armed guards hand me their AKs so they could take a few swings and putts was amusing. I skipped the souvenir shirt and hat and opted for a few key chains.

The Babur Gardens were quite nice by Kabul standards. It was great to see the restoration efforts. But not seeing the fountains flowing and seeing the 400 or so year old gravestones of historic Mughals pockmarked by bullets was somewhat disappointing. They don’t really compare to the Shalimar Gardens of Lahore, but not much can.

This and a quick stop at Chelsea to pick up canned cat food ended the tourist/expat day in Kabul. Though I regret leaving my (well my parent’s...) camera at home, I’ll maintain that such makes the day a little less touristy for me. I’ll maintain that despite the fact that all the Afghans that were at Qargha Lake and Babur Gardens were snapping away with their cameras.


Elizabeth said...

Did you see the Christian tombstones which had since been defaced? There were some when I was there. Pretty shocking. I forget how we could see that they were Christian... there were parts of a cross visible. It was bizarre.

Q. A. Shah said...

I'm assuming the tombstones were at the Gardens, not the Golf Course. That would be a whole other level of desecration.

But sadly, I didn't see any Christian graves, and none were pointed out (and it would have surely caught me off guard seeing them in Babur's Gardens...bizarre indeed...) But there were only a few graves of note, Babur and relatives.

But it was even bizarre seeing the great Babur's tomb in such a condition.

ms. daisy said...

It may be inappropriate, but Extreme Golf with an Attitude is definitely the name of my next spokenword album. Definitely.

Q. A. Shah said...

Ms. D,
Odd, but I never got the notification on you comment...seems to have not registered.

But, your NEXT spoken-word album??? Am I missing something?...q