Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kite Fighting: Round One

It started innocently enough, "Hey mister, hey mister. Give me kite, my kite!" So, I went and gave the kids the kites that came down on our side of the fence. But as you can imagine, if it flies, I wanted to fly one too. (The kite is the purple and white thing on the ground to the left of the black and white pole.)

So, I did. I built one out of a plastic laundry bag and a few sticks. It flies pretty well. Every once in a wile it gets a little squirrly. Not bad for the first kite that I have either flown or made in probably at least 10 years! (I have the gloves on because the kite string is coated in ground up glass shards.)

But I have been told many times, "if you fly a kite in Kabul, it will only be a minute and there will be another kite up to cut it down." They weren't kidding... These guys showed up for the fight.

Like a slow motion killer, the new intruder rises to altitude.

Great... now the French are here... just what I needed, a peanut gallery!

He makes a swoop at my string, I dodge it, but immediately realize that my kite is no where near maneuverable enough to play this game. My only moves are fly strait or fall like a leaf. He seems to be able to do anything he wants with his. Amazing for having only one string... Maybe he won't be able to see mine because it is made out of a clear garbage bag.

Nope... it seems he sees me just fine...

Shit! My line goes slack, my kite flutters off into the distance, my string floats defeated down onto the countryside... The victor alone circles in the sky.

After the fight, I go over to talk... and practice my Dari. The guy explained how he got me...

He let me try. I fly his kite for a few minutes. His kite is much more maneuverable... It feels much more natural in the air. Mine felt like it forced it's way up into the air, where as his seemed almost like a swimming fish.

Rematch tomorrow...


Broheim said...

Apparently yall have never heard of snipers... Although the nice thing about getting to know some of the locals around you is that they start to recognize you as not a douche bag and increases your likelihood of survival. Although i would be getting on someone to at least put a screen up on that fence so people cant see in or just use simple wire cutters... good to see youre packing steel though. I think you need to do a BNR to get me out there and take charge of those clowns who designed your place. Other than that I am excited i will be jumping from a UH 60 tomorrow morning. I'll try to take pictures for you.

amateur.sophist said...

You both have very intense looks of concentration on your face.

1) how does one make or obtain string coated in glass shards? It looked like regular string!

2) hoe come the other guy isn't wearing gloves?

3) who gave the French helicopters?

Notorious said...

Yea, there are quite a few things about security I would do different. I don't know why they don't put up a screen. I think the perimeter is an easy 8 miles or so... I think the fence is mostly there to keep sheep herders from taking their stock across the taxiways to eat the grass.

1. Easy! You just ask your interpreter to go to the bazar and get you some!

2. The other guy only has the glass coated string up closer to his kite. The rest of his is regular string. I hadn't thought of this.

3. I think they made them themselves. Sort of like how I made my kite. If you look close, you can see them hanging out the window and sitting out the door like it is a set of bleachers.

Alana said...

Your mom and I agree, you look like you need to eat more!!! Don't forget to eat, like you usually do. And you still have to eat, even if they aren't serving noodles to tostidos!!! :-)

Gams said...

kites will take four days
to cross the desert whereas
words take only one

this is an intriguing post! i've only ever seen kite fighting outside chicago at a miniature plane airfield. huzzah for the kites!