We headed out towards some coal fired brick factory to tie in with a potential architecture related story. Yes, I know it sounds a bit weird but it was quite funny as we pulled up at a random kiln outside town in our 4×4 and chatted to the workers through our interpreter, the CEO of Afghan Logistics and Tours.
We then headed back into town to see a really important restored building whose name and purpose I’ve completely forgotten (it was a manic day). Then it was time for some lunch at the tour company’s office, then some souvenir shopping at an overpriced tourist shop, but one that supports afghan artisans.
Needless to say it was a bit too easy to get carried away, and I need to buy another bag. I spied some funky synthetic ones labelled “Kabul Afghanistan 2008” I need to try and get my hands on if we have time. I managed to avoid a really cool little wooden stool for $20 though which was a miracle.
It was then on to interview a leading American Afghan carpet maker who sells top end carpets to top end clients. We visited him at his new villa which is nearing completion. It was one of the most amazing homes I’ve ever been in, fully built by local material and craftsmen. We saw several of his top end carpets, and all the rooms in the house. His company if far larger than I realised, employing thousands of families in Afghanistan (if I heard correctly while I was taking photographs), and even selling them through John Lewis in the UK.
After dropping in past the fort to grab our luggage it was a sad goodbye to everyone there. You have all been fantastic folks and thanks for your hospitality. Huge apologies to those who I never thanked and said bye to – our day was more manic than we thought.
Tonight and tomorrow is in the downtown 5 star luxury of the Serena Hotel, courtesy of the general manager. Although it’s sad to leave the fort, it’s a beautiful place, and a total escape from the madness of Kabul, which lies just outside the hotel walls. I have the TV on for the first time in 9 days, and I haven’t missed it at all.
Anyway, I should’ve been in bed ages ago as tomorrow is going to be even more manic – plans so far hopefully include :
herbal medicine shop
two designer afghan fashion houses
interview with a magazine editor
potential interview with local media people
and probably lots more I’ve forgotten!
Unfortunately, the following day is goodbye to Kabul for now, although I wish I was staying longer, but with a more chilled out timetable!
Here’s a shot of the bakery in the market I visited the other day :