I was feeling extravagant and bought five. I didn’t realise that the 6000m of string encrusted with powdered glass, essential for cutting rivals’ strings in kite fights, would cost as much as the kites put together. I’m sure I could’ve managed with a mere 500m. Needless to say, there’s not been a breath of wind since, and when I inquired about shipping costs, TNT quoted me a figure of $350 (including a 15kg metal case) to get them back to UK in one piece. I think I’ll resort to the ‘message in a bottle’ technique and see where the airstream takes them.
Yesterday arvo, we investigated another Afghan obsession – partridge fighting. The Ka Faroshi bird market consists of a warren of sewerage strewn narrow lanes, past huge woks frying offal and tomatoes over wood fires – hmm, tasty. A bewildering variety of birds are for sale – most are tiny, scrawny creatures which huddle pitifully on their perches. Prize partridges are kept in larger wicker cages, or in their masters’ pockets, to be unleased on unsuspecting sparrows or passers-by. Coupled with the national sport of buzkashi (a cross between polo and rugby, with a dead goat as a ‘ball’), you begin to get a sense of what Friday Grandstand / Sportscene programmes are like.