Book of Marvels
Friday, June 08, 2007

Jingle Trucks!
During my last two weeks in Afghanistan, I've had a slight, very personal recurring despair.... I hadn't seen any jingle trucks.

Seems that I had seen plenty during my first two trips here.
I wondered if they were disappearing along with the blocks of traditional mud-brick buildings and other signs of old Afghanistan.

But yesterday, I went with some friends to a lovely lake with paddle boats and to Afghanistan's one and only golf course. While we were on our way there, we turned a corner and...there was a cluster of jingle trucks, washed and ready for the next day's work! I love the whole jingle truck ethos of embellishing the ordinary, of elevating the workaday to art, of driving beauty all over the country.

There should be a word appropriate for the many-ness of jingle trucks. A tintinnabulation of jingle trucks? A prism of jingle trucks? They are a delight to the ears (if one could hear them over the traffic) and the eyes.
PS--after I posted this, I saw the most magnificent jingle truck ever in downtown Kabul. It had a sort of huge rounded marquis over the cab. Like a headdress for a dancer-- painted, spangled, mirrored, ribboned, tasseled. Utterly magnificent. Who knows what ordinary cargo it carried-- toilet paper? computers? bricks?
Hey - so crazy that you are finally back in Kabul and I'm on holiday in Thailand. But I just bought The Kabul Beauty School (from Asia Books, Siam Discovery Centre) and I'm looking forward to getting to Koh Samui Island and settling in for a good read.

Enjoy Kabul.
Beautiful. . tell me more about jingle trucks.
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