Skip to comments.Kabul: Streets with no names
Posted on 09/30/2011 2:15:55 PM PDT by Cardhu
There are few formal street names or house numbers in Kabul - so just how does a postman deliver the mail?
For the postmen of Kabul, navigating the maze of the city is a daunting task. It is a city of more than four million people and one in which hundreds of homes and streets are being developed every year.
There are few street names and house numbers, and the Central Post Office has yet to introduce a full postal code system.
There is often little information to work with So how does a letter find its way to the correct recipient?
At one of Kabul's Post Office distribution centres, I saw more than 30 private and official letters. None had an exact address - just a series of vague directions.
One, which had been sent from America, simply states, "Hamid Jaan, behind Darul-Aman palace".
Another directs the postman to a destination "behind Omar Jan Mosque", while the addressee of another apparently lives close to "Alauddin school".
"The receiver's address is always vague. They write the address as though I am a friend of the receiver," says Ahmad Omid, who has been working with Afghan Post for more than two years.
"Sometimes, it takes hours to deliver a letter."
Ahmad, who crosses the city by bike, says that finding addresses is based on personal knowledge and asking locals for help.
I accompanied Ahmad on his mission to deliver Hamid Jaan's letter from America.
We headed towards Darul-Aman, south of Kabul, a palace that was built 90 years ago during the reign of Amanullah Khan, the former Afghan king. It had been badly damaged during the civil war in the 1970s.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Mohammaed Avenue #1, Mohammed Ave #2, Mohammed Blvd Northeast
Mohaamed Place SW. Mophammed Place NE.
Costa Rica is that way. You can’t give an address to a taxi driver, you need to give directions like “1/2 mile north of the McDonald’s in neighborhood x”.
How is a muzzie to send his letter-bombs?
When people are illiterate there is no need for a post office to deliver to the general population.
No maps, no street addresses but now they can use e-mail and bypass the age of the Pony Express.
I was driving in Vancouver B.C. about 20 years ago and I noticed that a lot of streets did not have a street sign on the corner. It drove em crazy!
I was driving in Vancouver B.C. about 20 years ago and I noticed that a lot of streets did not have a street sign on the corner. It drove me crazy!
When my family lived in Laos our address was the Pink House, Savannakhet, Laos. But our mail from the U.S. was sent to an APO address.
Carmel- by-the-Sea, CA - streets are named but no house numbers. Everyone has post office box.
“Sometimes, it takes hours to deliver a letter.”
Bet it cuts down on the junk mail and circulars though!
When we lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, we gave directions to friends we’d invited over for dinner: coming from the embassy on Palestine Road, proceed south until you come to the decomposing goat. We’re right across the road.
It is a city of more than four million people and one in which hundreds of homes and streets are being developed every year.
wiki image dated January 2006.
Kabul City's narrow streets that were built up more than three decades ago have fallen victim to the enormous traffic. With no traffic lights or signs, accidents and traffic jams constantly plague the population...
In all fairness, that’s one of the busier ends of Kabul (south central Kabul, by the police compound) around the northern side of the sprawling bazaars.
As you get up towards Pashtunistan square and the various ministry buildings heading back into central Kabul, the roads get pretty good.
Traffic, and local drivers manners, on the other hand....
I am reading Travels in Arabia Deserta by C.M. Doughty, first published in 1888, and it's quite clear that a nomadic desert culture had no use of street numbers or names. The people of whom he wrote, had no concept of any previous existing culture, they believed allah created the ruins and the evidence of irrigation/agriculture...and if allah didn't require them to have an address (they pulled up their tents and moved on) why would they, following the word of allah (sarc) think they need an address NOW? It's not in the koran.
Living in the seventh century has its drawbacks. Paul Theroux the travel writer came across the same problems during his trip through Africa. In Egypt, looking for an author he wanted to meet, he was surprised how difficult it was to find him, as the man had no address. In Cairo!
*sigh* I recall many a time when I had to give directions like "after gas station X, head north for a mile until you past the school/mosque with a white wall, then take the left fork in the road, and carry on for a couple of blocks until you see the big green house on the left with chevrons on the gates. Then take the very next right, and look for the large tan house with the 3 rocks placed on the compound wall, or green light outside, or the one with the blue chalk mark... if you see the shack with the tin roof, you've gone too far.
...they believed allah created the ruins and the evidence of irrigation/agriculture...
LOL... I believe it was allah's will that their neighborhoods got filled with craters too!
As for "innovations" and "innovators" (those guilty of "bidah") of things which are not in the koran or hadeeth, a humorous observation that some locals had about the salafi-types intimidation, demanding an end to harram western style influence, schools, institutions etc, on the grounds that they did not have or practice that during mohammads time - is the obvious fact that there were no AKs, Makarovs or car bombs in mohammads time either!
Ask the Imam...is it ok to fly an airplane into a building?
Yes my son...inshalla!