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Cellphones and strawberries

It’s not uncommon to see little children at the crossroads of Kabul, selling everything from cellphone recharge cards, to chewing gum and, now that spring is here, strawberries. In fact you see them at Qargha Lake, too, where families come to enjoy the day off on Fridays.

Tented seating arrangements on the water-front, some Kebabs with Naan, and you could be in heaven. The kids pop into your tent every little while and ask: “May we shine your shoes?” or, “Chewing gum?” And, as you dig into the feast before you, you’re wondering if they have eaten properly today.

And, speaking of strawberries, I’ve just eaten the most delicious ones! I don’t know if they are locally grown, or imported like much of the food we eat in this country. Maybe they are an extravagance.

I can’t help wondering if, in a few years to come when there is peace, there will be more tourists who can sample the joys of spring. It’s really quite stunning. Especially Paghman. 

Kabul tourists will mean more business, more growth, and more food for everyone. Then, working kids like the shoe-shine boys in Qargha, will be able to go to school and aspire for better jobs when they grow up.

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