The Ice Cream Man
One of the things the Taliban did was to ban music. Clearly, the Kabul neighborhood in which I'm staying would have chafed under this restriction. Last night as I lay on the couch reading for a few hours, I could hear music coming from every direction-- from the neighbors to the left, from the neighbors to the right, from across the street. Wonderful, soulful, dance-worthy, croon-along-with music. Not, I'm happy to say, the theme song to Titanic, which I heard several times at an Afghan restaurant last week. For reasons I don't understand, Titanic is still a big hit in these parts.
During the day, the noise of traffic and construction and planes drowns out most of the music. But the other day, I heard a familiar sound coming from the street and ran up to the rooftop patio to see what it was. An ice cream man! I didn't recognize the melody, but that doesn't seem to matter. There is something universal about the ice cream man's song, whatever the tune-- something about summer and sweetness and small pleasures in the middle of the day.
See the child in the upper right corner, running off to beg her mother for this treat?