National Geographic : 1953 Sep
432 Money Changes Hands Beneath the Towering Mud Gates of Ghazni Sam Waagenaar Once capital of Afghanistan, Ghazni today is a quiet market town where the author bought several brass hubble-bubble pipes to make into lamp bases (page 428). erill made of wool and fine chicken feathers. This gentle-voiced man was the last doctor an eastbound traveler was apt to see for hundreds of miles. The next one, they said, was some where in China. A lorry (the one that had been in Faizabad three months) took us back to Khanabad. Part of the way we followed the twisting, attractive Kokcha River, reputedly Marco Polo's route to China.* This province of Badakhshan used to trade heavily with China, but that traffic has been discontinued. Glad to Get Out and Walk When the driver asked us to get out to lighten the load before crossing some of the bridges, we were all too happy to comply, for the rickety log-and-stone structures suspended above deep gulches looked hazardous. We passed few villages, though we sometimes saw a solitary summer home, built of bent saplings and reed mats, clinging to a ledge beside a small plowed field. By the time we climbed aboard an Afghan Mail bus for the return trip from Khanabad to Kabul, the bus seemed like luxurious trans portation, in spite of its burden of 28 adults, 13 children, three birds, and a rooster! After 18 days of sleeping on floor pads we found our native beds in Kabul to be wonder fully soft. The Embassy parties and gay foreign-colony gatherings; meat-potato-and vegetable meals, after so much chilau and nan; even school, students for tea, and house cleaning-all seemed temporarily strange to us, integral parts though they were of our home life in Afghanistan. * See "We Took the Highroad in Afghanistan," by Jean and Franc Shor, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGA ZINE, November, 1950. INDEX FOR JANUARY-JUNE, 1953, VOLUME READY Index for Volume CIII (January-June, 1953) of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE will be mailed upon request to members who bind their copies as works of reference.