I thought today I’d share a tidbit to know that American tax dollars are hard at work. More commonly known as the black market, here in Afghanistan it is called the Bush Market, yes, named after our beloved George W Bush.
At the Bush Market you can find an odd, yet plentiful, supply of American treats, complimentary of the military. I can’t fathom how that much stuff can be pilfered from military issued supplies, but business seems to be booming.
You can find an assortment of vacuum packed brown US issued meals that look oh so enticing. Plus massive cans of soup, fruit, veggies, relish, you-name-it-you. M&Ms, graham crackers, cheez-its, pop tarts, mike & ikes, kit-kats. You begin to wonder how the military could possibly be fit with such a diet. Particularly when their treadmills make nice dusty seats in the streets of Kabul!
There was part of me that wandered through the stalls thinking how much money was actually spent by tax payers to eventually have a packet of gatorade sell for about a nickel a piece. It felt a bit like a morbid fascination, in that you don’t want to be a part of such a trade, but at the same time know that it will go on with out without you.
The incredible thing is that where everything else in Afghanistan is hugely marketed up for foreigners, they seem to give a fair deal at the Bush market, offering the same price for locals and foreigners alike. Do they perhaps recognize that we’ve already paid for it in the first place? Like paying for goods that have already been stolen from you in a round about way. They’ve also set prices for certain easy to find items across the market so there is less negotiation. But people were very nice and the scene felt comfortable to navigate. We did go with an Afghan national from our office to help sort through it all.
The best find of the day was our beloved Monster energy drink. James & I made out well with Hansen’s Natural Soda stock in 2006. I had to chuckle to find it among the isles of treasures. Check out the box on the bottom left of the shot above!
My personal favorite that I did pick up a dozen of was the Starbuck’s Espresso and Cream Double Shots for a buck a piece. Not a bad day at the market!