I believe I was about five years old when I left my hometown Jaghoori to go live with my uncle’s family in Kabul. Although I was very little back then, I still do have some vague memory of how Kabul used to look like back in the days.
Fifteen years have gone by and A LOT has changed. A once flat looking Kabul is now starting to look more like a proper city with tall buildings everywhere. The population has definitely increased rapidly, it’s difficult getting through the crowd whether you’re driving, walking or cycling your way around town. Many people have moved from their hometowns across the country to Kabul for a better life, work and education. You’d expect to see a good number of students living in shared houses across the city and in Lailiya’s (university dormitories). Don’t be surprised if you see a number of universities in one road, because there’s just too many to count. From private universities to government ones, institutions and schools are to be found in every neighbourhood. Which is a GREAT thing, because education is on the RISE.
Kabul houses are chic
If there’s one thing I love about Kabul besides shopping of course, it would be the different structured houses across the city. There’s a specific design to the houses, unlike any I’ve seen in the world, not that I’ve been everywhere (just referencing from the internet). I guess it’s got a very Afghan touch to it, if that’s a good way to put it. Each house comes in different colour and size, and it looks the bomb dot com!! Well at least in my eyes. And why I say that is because Afghanistan is naturally very brown, unless you live in the countryside, then yeh expect some good greenery landscape. So the colourful houses makes the city look somewhat bright and fancy, like the ones you’d expect to see in Italy. You know what I mean. Oh wait, I almost forgot to mention how bloody beautiful the night view is in Kabul, especially if you live up in the mountain areas or own a four-story house with a rooftop. I kind of shouldn’t even say the last part, because all the houses come with a rooftop. But no seriously hands down, you have to witness the night view, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
⏤ Unclear clip of Kabul’s night view | enjoy some desi music there ⏤
Everywhere is a Bazar
Legit, everywhere is a Bazar, everywhere! even in the smallest streets there is. Shops and stalls of different kinds of goods are to be found in every single place where human exists in the city. And with that comes so many amazing advantages, like you don’t have to make a shopping list, you forget something, not to worry! Step outside, and shops are in front of your face. Ok! I admit, that was me exaggerating a little. I mean you have to walk a least a few steps, maybe to the end of the street, unless you live next to the shop, then you know, turn your face a little. Like that’s definitely not something we’re familiar with here in Australia. We have shopping centres, local shops, maybe one or so in every neighborhood and you do have to drive yourself to the shops. Well, save yourself some time and petrol people, because you are surrounded by boundless shops and stalls when you get yourself to Kabul. Oh and yes, money too!
Everything is so cheap
⏤ Kotae Sangi Market ⏤
If you’re going for a visit to Afghanistan, money won’t be an issue, besides the air ticket of course. Food, clothes, just almost anything is pretty damn cheap in comparison to what things might cost back here in Australia. One Australian dollar is almost equal to 50 Afghani rupee (note that this does change in accordance with economy fluctuations). Here are a few of the many things you can buy with just $1 dollar:
- Five round fresh delicious Afghan bread
- Two & half cans of soft drink
- Two & half packets of chips (like big ones)
- Ten bus passes
Isn’t that amazing? btw, that was my list that I can remember, I probably sound like a junk freak right now, which I’m not. But anyways, I have to point out that not
everything is cheap, like traditional Afghan clothes, western dresses, jewellery, restaurant and some other stuff are very similar to what we might pay for back here in Australia. Sorry to disappoint you on those items that we all love people. Not all best things in the world are free or cheap.
Best transport in the world
Chuck them bus/train timetable apps away when in Kabul, because there is no such thing as waiting for the bus, for the taxi or for anything. Get yourself to the main road and there are limitless buses, cabs, motorbike, motor-kart, uber-like cars and even trucks to choose from. If you’re visiting the countryside, there’s an addition of donkey and horse to the list. And I’m not joking about that. Don’t be alarmed if hear constant beeping here and there, because it’s a very normal way of communication between drivers and road passers. Depending on the type of transport, pay between five to twenty Afghani Rupee to get yourself to places across the city. If you’re unfamiliar with the place, then get yourself an uber-looking car, pay about one thousand two hundred Afghani rupee ($24 Australian dollar) and roam around the city for the whole day. This includes tour guide by the why, because the people of Afghanistan are so humble and down to earth. BONUS on top of bonus. What else could you possibly want?
⏤ From Kotae Sangi to Lesse Mariam, Kabul, Afghanistan ⏤
Kinds of people you might come across
I know that I said the people of Afghanistan are humble and down to earth, but that doesn’t include everyone. Of course you’re going to come across the mean ones, flirty dirty ones and scary looking ones here and there from time to time. From my personal experience though, I found that majority of the people I met and communicated with throughout my journey were quite humble and nice human beings. I guess it would really depends on you as well. The way you talk, the way you dress and your attitude of course. Everywhere in the world has their own custom and culture, it’s just a matter of showing respect and not trying to look too foreign. Btw, there’s a bonus to looking like a local Kabuli, you won’t be ripped off when shopping!
But overall, Kabul is an amazing place, I cannot wait to go back in few months time to share some more exciting facts about the place to you all. And I hope this helps you get an idea of how it might be like to visit Kabul one day.
Hope you had a nice read!