Sunday, August 11, 2013

Day 5, Friday August 9th- Babur Gardens

Fridays are like Sundays back home, religious, family, spend some time outdoors
By far the greenest and prettiest place in Kabul is at the Babur Gardens (Bagh e Babur), named after some king from a long time ago whose tomb is located in a shrine at the gardens
...this place was a short walk from our guesthouse...the admission was like 250 afghan per person, which I think was like $10 each , they charged extra because we brought our cameras ...locals pay less of course. They did a security pat down making sure we were not bringing in weapons or anything of that nature. Many of the athletes are still on Eid, we still have not begun any type of water polo training.
As we walked around the gardens, many of the locals were very happy to see American tourists...usually Americans that come to Afghanistan , work for either NGOs or other government agencies and stay indoors or within their commons. We were relaxed and greeted people as the opportunity came.
A group of local kids with their traditional dress approached us and wanted to practice their English, they also asked us for Eid-E, which, even though we were polite and greeted people "Eid-Mobarack", and Eid-E, is like a gift, traditionally given to kids, it could be clothes, toys, most of them like money of course....
By about 11am or so, it started to get really crowded, Scott and I took a lot of pictures of nice scenery, we noticed that the locals like eating water melon, they sit on the grass, tear up a water melon and just go at we decided to do the same thing, bought a big water melon, they gave us the knife, we found a nice shaded spot, and dug was fresh and sweet, but hot of course....some locals noticed that we were foreigners and decided to join us with a peaceful conversation.
The 20 year old spoke descent English he had been learning at school, he wished to further his college education somewhere in the US or Europe possibly, his family is poor, work is difficult, his way out is education, get out, understand the ways of the world, in hopes to come back and possibly help is motherland. There was a poor beggar kid who was really eyeing our water melon, we couldn't really understand what he was trying to tell us, but we figured he was hungry, so we gave him half of our water melon and his eyes lit up...he ate some of it right in front of us, and took the rest to his other friends who were hungry as well. We walked around a little and decided to head back..
Walking across the streets were a little challenge because their is no traffic lights, so we played frogger and dodged a lot of cars crossing the street...there was a bridge over looking a filthy dirty trash infested river, I was trying to take pictures, but their were military police guards around, and when that is the case, no cameras or photos allowed...
Afghans were in their best dressed clothes on this fine day...whether its in traditional dress, or tailored suits or western styles, they looked sharp getting out of their run down dirty beat up Toyota corolla's, parking next to a trash invested sidewalk, walking in their sandals...
OK, so yesterday, I walked all day outside with my sandals, and although everyone else does it.... I am not doing it feet got dirty and it was just disgusting....that is something I did not want to blend in... so from Friday on I decided to wear regular shoes...sure, people look at me because I am sporting my Adidas kicks...but my feet are better protected...
Anyway, this day was a good peaceful home chilled for a while, took a nap, worked on the computer, Scott is taking care of the business and PR side of things and arranging meetings with very important people and making sure we will have pools to train at and athletes to coach soon

For dinner, we had some kind of pasta dish and soup

We are not eating as much as we thought...not a big appetite, who knows...just drinking lots of water and tea trying to stay hydrated


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