Friday, November 21, 2008

Part VII: Driving in Downtown Kabul

Over the past few weeks I've made a few trips outside the perimeter wire. Leaving the wire is always an interesting experience. You are not allowed to go out on foot unless you're part of a security patrol. Otherwise, when you do leave the compound, you have to travel in armored vehicles with body armor and loaded weapons. Prior to departure you have to memorize the route, alternative routes, recent threat assessments, and countless other bits of seeming trivia that your survival may depend on.

Once outside the gate, you have to travel at speed. If you slow down or stop, you may be giving an attacker enough time to take aim with an RPG or to trigger an IED. So it's a bit tough to snap pictures of the local people and landscape while you're zipping by as fast as you can go, but it doesn't stop me from trying. Here's a few of my favorites so far. I apologize for the motion blur.
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I captured this picture of a typical roadside merchant at one of the busiest intersections in the city.
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I'm not sure what's going on with this guy:
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On the other hand, I know exactly what's going on with this guy:
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This is the side of the road on the way to the airport:
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And another shot of the same road on the way to the airport:
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And a few moments later, a shot of the boy riding his donkey:
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More to come. Stay tuned.

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