Thursday, September 06, 2007

Swan Shaped Paddle Boats, in Afghanistan

Swan Shaped Paddle Boats, in Afghanistan
Originally uploaded by gaikokujinkyofusho

This is one of the last things I would have expected to see in Afghanistan, especially out here where there is no paved road leading to it (you actually need 4 wheeled drive to get here [this is the first country I have seen true 4wd minivans, complete with locking hubs]), no electricity, and no running water but they have paddle boats.

As I have mentioned in some of my other posts we arrived here (Band-e Amir) fairly late so I don’t remember seeing these boats but the next morning as we were eating breakfast people started a line for the paddle boats which made for an entertaining breakfast.

That I am aware of there are very few bodies of water in Afghanistan (lots of little streams and a few rivers thanks to the yearly melting of the snow in Afghanistan’s many mountains, but few ponds or lakes) so Band-e Amir is a special treat for many afghans. There were many more people crowded around the docks (two stones used for stepping into the boats) and I am not sure if it was because they didn’t have enough money (conceivable but if they could afford to go to Band-e Amir I would think taking a boat wouldn’t be too much extra) or because of fear. I never asked any of them why but I have heard that many Afghans aren’t the best swimmers (one could hardly expect them to be given the lack of water) so that is a plausible explanation.