Having spent an entire week in one place, I've developed a sort of routine. Upon waking, I go out to the market to pick up two pieces of roghani nan from the bearded Uzbek who keeps them fresh and warm underneath the cloth covered basket. It goes down well with Happy Cow cheese or peanut butter. I read for several hours, nowadays imbibing the philosophy of Bertrand Russell and wisdom of Benjamin Franklin.
In the afternoon I sat with some young carpet sellers who are studying to become engineers. I was abhorred to find that these educated young men actually applauded the Taliban's destruction of the Buddhas in Bamiyan. This underscores the threat that religious fanaticism poses to a developing nation. In spite of common sense and a broad education, there are individuals who will remain blinded by religious conceit and who seek to impose their own small-minded views on others whom they consider inferior, executing their philosophy through the destruction of history and degradation of the country's minority groups. Nothing grates on my nerves more than this ...
Today a boy from a village near Balkh had come into Rafi's antique shop with a small horde of coins he had discovered while building a house. The coins bore the inscription of Ghengis Khan who ruled the surrounded area in the 13th Century. I was curious what kind of price they would fetch but they would have to be examined more closely. Rafi's brother told me of a gold coin he once bought from a local boy for $100, which he in turn sold for $800, and which was subsequently sold in the West for $5000. He was wracked for not having sold it at a higher price, not content with his mere 800% profit.
For dinner we sat on the floor of the shop and had some very special "balany" made in the tandoor by Rafi's mother. The balany are like spinach filled quesadillas and are dipped in fresh yogurt that is much like sour cream.
Rafi lamented that since the shooting few days ago, no foreigners had come to the shop.
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