I am the alpha and the omega
December 25, 2003
Beckhap's Law
Beauty times brains equals a constant.
This law is very famous, known to our college, even otherwise, under another name, and applies to females in our college. I never knew it be a Murphy's Law

The Afghanisthan Saga Part I
My father's trip to Afghanistan goes like this....

The US of A has given a three billion dollar aid for reconstruction of Afghanistan, not all as liquid cash. It is mainly in the form of reconstruction of various sectors of economy. One company, KPMG Consultants - Bearing Point, is responsible for rebuilding the financial part - banking, excise, etc. It is mainly a consultant company and to gain experience in the practical working, they invited many bankers. My father was one among them.

India has sanctioned about a hundred million dollar aid for Afghanistan. Not all, again is liquid cash. They provide help in the form of trained professionals also. So there were many bankers, doctors, civil engineers etc. (Two of the last category were kidnapped and released recently, if you havent caught up the news yet). There were about eight doctors sent there, and they are running a child care hospital (If I am rite). Six bankers were also sent. The Ministry of external affairs requested names from RBI, and RBI in turn asked various banks in our country to provide names of good bankers. My father was also nominated. The first intimated in around September 2002. After about two more confirmations later, he left in July 14th, 2003. Two people from Bombay, one from Delhi, Kanpur and Lucknow joined him there later.

He was put up in a hotel before being transferred to a rented house (rent being exhorbitant : two thousand and seven hundred dollars per month, but that is paid by the embassy). That house is near the American Embassy in Kabul and there is heavy security all around the place. It is a huge house, now that I have seen pictures of it. It has pretty good furnishing and TV with cable (I am jealous because he recieves Star Movies, ESPN, ... and I dont recieve it.), fridge, beds with enough blankets and centralised heating. There is a maid who also does all the cooking and everything.

The city of Kabul is pretty good and very secure - the same cannot be said about the other towns. The roads are pretty wide, concretised (and are in a much better situation than Indian roads, so to speak). The main currency is an Afghani, the rates are about forty eight to a dollar, the same as an Indian Rupee. Both dollar and Afghani are accepted, and money exchange are readily done; with lotsof people waving bundles of Afghanis on the roads to exchange. There are many shops in markets where this is possible too.

Transportation inside the city is also pretty easy. There are some of the TATA buses donated by India running there. But mostly, there are a lot of Taxis around - mainly Toyota Corolla's (station wagons), LandCruisers and Mitsuibishi Pajero's. They are pretty cheap too (cheaper that Chennai's autos atleast). But the poor man's vehicle there is the cycle - lotsof them there.

More descriptive description about the life and culture (not much of it anyway) in the next post.

Posted by satosphere at 9:21 PM


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