Wednesday, July 11, 2007

360 Panoramic photo from my roof

360 Panoramic photo from my roof
Originally uploaded by gaikokujinkyofusho

As I keep mentioning it isn’t a great idea for me to wander around in Kabul (though a Bangladeshi colleague of mine has said that going to the market that is not on the main road is ok, we shall see, perhaps after I get some traditional Afghan clothes) so I am not getting as many pictures as I would like (which might not be a bad thing since I fall behind on labeling my pictures pretty quickly).

On one of my days off I decided to climb up on top of the roof to take some pictures but of course there are no stairs for this, actually there is a tiny door/hole in the ceiling of the bathroom that is too high for a chair but we don’t have a ladder small enough to get up there so I had to hop on a chair, get a foot on the door knob, then balance on top of the door (while holding on to the edge of the door/hole in the ceiling) and hoist myself up… whew. Well that door goes into a shack on the roof that houses the water tank (since water is only turned on for a few hours a day most buildings have a tank that fills up while the water is turned on then it feeds the building for the rest of the day [with really low water pressure]). Anyway I got into the shack then slipped through a hole in the side of the shack onto the roof (I should probably make a video of this next time). Of course I didn’t take into account that it would be flaming hot (I was barefoot) so I got down, got my Tevas, and repeated the previous steps.From the roof I took this photo and a few other panoramic photos to give people an idea of what it looks like, at least from where I am.

Its not all that exciting but it is kinda representative of Kabul. I would love to hike up one of the mountains that are in and around Kabul but my afghan counterparts have advised against it (security again, and I guess they would know) but I am sure I could get some pretty phenomenal pictures. The satellite dish is actually for our whopping 64Kbps internet connection that runs around $300/month which really sounds criminal to me, and incidentally makes me appreciate (for a moment) the comparatively cheap prices of broadband access in the US (though when I see internet access in Scandinavia I cease to have any respect for American broadband ISPs). The little hut to the left of the satellite dish is where our water tank is housed, most houses (if you squint you can see a few others) don’t have their tanks covered and I would guess have perpetual hot water, like it or not. You can also see at least two buildings under construction as well, it amazes me that in this time of insecurity (admittedly less secure for me than for the average afghan) that construction would continue but it is, slowly but surely, as long as the aid money comes Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan will continue to improve, slowly but surely.