Thursday, March 06, 2008

Afghan Golf

Afghan Golf
Originally uploaded by gaikokujinkyofusho

Coming from a golfing state (NC) I should love the sport but alas, I can’t fathom what those funny Scots where thinking when they came up with this game (and ironically I’ve got Scottish blood in my family)

Well on my way to a lake outside of Kabul we passed “Kabul Golf Course” upon seeing this I had to stop and take a picture which involved waving my hands around to the driver (he is getting used to this but I still get the feeling all the drivers in my organization are going to lynch me someday for all the photos I have them stop for). I’m not sure if I am the only one but there are those things I just don’t expect to see in Afghanistan and a golf course it one of them. Now I have to admit that this particular golfing green isn’t something that any self respecting North Carolinian would play on but after being cooped up in a compound (depending on one’s organization’s security policies) one might be surprised at what eventually passes as acceptable.

I was actually surprised that this place hadn’t been invaded by Kuchi yet (afghan nomads as far as I can tell) as they had forcefully made their way into the edges of central Afghanistan for some pretty pathetic grazing areas (this scrub was prime eat’n by comparison). Another thing that was kind of surprising was that foreigners would go there at all; the area wasn’t guarded, was a nice spot for sniping (indeed not a mile away I climbed a mountain that had the remains of a bunker where the Mujadin (sp?) sniped Russians about 15 years earlier), and well, it was full of only foreigners with a few Afghan caddies. While I admit that it is hard to resist the draw of familiar things (being poor as dirt helps keep me away from such western amusements) and I probably do get out a wee bit more than some expats but I tend towards afghan areas and not places with tons of westerners in groups.