Saturday, April 29, 2006

From Shahrak to Chaghcharan: the slow folklore of a desolate land.

My Vehicle: a Russian made Kamaz truck, manned by its driver and his 16 years old assistant. Loaded with oil barrels, it was negotiating slowly the distance between Shahrak and Chaghcharan, my destination. I was going to spend almost a day inside that truck…

The driver and its assistant…

The crew of a tea house –or chaykhana- as they are locally known, can put their eyes away from me.

When human settlements are so Basic, they seem organically added to the environment. As those indicators that would draw us to perceive them as artificial disappear, continuity between human and natural history is magically restored. The ascetic dwellings of Central Afghanistan make the word “artificial” to lack all sense.

The road climbs high in the Bayan Mountains.

There is scarcely a road but, against all odds, there is a fork.

The steep road severely tests a Hi Ace bringing passengers from Chaghcharan to Shahrak.


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