Addresses in Afghanistan

Sep 22, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   Uncategorized  //  6 Comments

Nor­mal­ly, in Afghanistan we don’t have street names and street num­bers. There are some streets and almost all towns with names. Fun­ny sto­ry how streets and some towns are named but before that: I was dri­ving out­side Jalal­abad city the oth­er day and I need­ed direc­tions to a friend’s house. I asked a cou­ple of famers with their shov­els on their shoul­ders for direc­tions to a friend’s house in the area. In rur­al areas where peo­ple live in small towns and close­ly con­nect­ed vil­lages every­body knows every­body. Even if they live in two geo­graph­i­cal­ly dif­fer­ent vil­lages they will tell you where every­body lives. This man went on and on about the direc­tions. It got so con­fus­ing and I closed my eyes try­ing to nav­i­gate but it didn’t work. He named so many dif­fer­ent col­ors of gates and doors, big and small trees, rights and lefts, nears and behinds, and Ara­bic names of mosques. I apol­o­gized and I had him repeat the direc­tions furtive­ly turn­ing my phone voice recorder on. There was no way I could’ve found the place with­out lis­ten­ing to that record­ing all the way to his door. It’s fun­ny how some streets and some towns are named after some­one promi­nent, rich, or noto­ri­ous who lives on the street. For exam­ple, the street behind ours is called, “Multan Kaka Kosa”. Mean­ing Uncle Mul­tan Street. It was named after the noto­ri­ous fight­er, Mul­tan who has been in a phys­i­cal fight or argu­ment at least once with almost every­one in the neigh­bor­hood. Our street, da sarafano kosa, mean­ing the mon­ey exchang­ers street, was named after this wealthy sup­pos­ed­ly “money exchang­er” who was a night shift drug deal­er. Though the “money exchang­er” no longer lives in the neigh­bor­hood, it’s still called the mon­ey exchang­ers street.