The Power Went Out Again

The power just went out again, third time this evening. It came back on but I’m not sure if that’s city power or the hotel generator, they switch from one to the other as need dictates. The big problem is that all my wall plugs seem to have blown, so I can’t charge my phone or watch TV.

Which is a shame, really. I was half watching an Afghan version of “Deal or no deal”, and the lady with the headscarf had just finished a good round. She had the 1 and the 10 still there, but also 5000, 100,000 and 1,000,000. One million what I’m not sure, but I assume Afs, which trade at 50:1 to the dollar.

So that’s not bad, really, $20,000 US dollars. The host had lifted the box, then listened to the phone, then obviously strung things out a bit, then turned to the camera and proclaimed “After this message” or some such – even I could understand that!

So we cut to an ad for an energy drink, and then the power went out. So now I’ll never know. Did she take the money? Or did she play the odds, and try one more round?

An interesting point, but logical when you think of the way that Arabic and other related scripts are written, was that the 1 and the 10 were on the right hand side of the board, and the higher numbers to the left.

I didn’t get to see anyone actually open a box, so I don’t know whether women or men hold the little suitcases, or what they wear. Hopefully I get power back before the show is finished.

I’ve got my windows open as without the air conditioner it gets pretty sticky, pretty fast. We’ve been having some hot sunny weather, perfect for the beaches on the north shore of the Gentle Island, not so perfect for a big city with lots of construction. There are people on the sidewalk spraying hosepipes, trying to keep the dust down, and this morning I saw a policeman laughing as he nailed a passing cyclist with the backsplash. It’s good to see policemen laughing, even – especially? – those who carry guns.

At least there is battery power for the computer, so I can see what I’m doing as I type. I never did typing at school, so I have to look at the keyboard, and decide where to place the two or three fingers I use to peck at the letters.

I think they used to teach typing right after they had taught the ‘how to neatly gift wrap a box’ class, and my friends and I were still doing the ‘why ask for directions, you’ll get there eventually’ module of life skills.

So here I am, the second-last night of this visit to Kabul, waiting for the power to come on so I can see what the banker offered the contestant. There is a dull roar of helicopters in the distance, and closer I hear the call to prayer from the mosque. I contacted the front desk and they say they are sending someone to fix the fuse, but he’s not here yet. So I’ll open another window, and wonder who had the marvellous idea of selling that show to the Afghan market.

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