Hearts and Minds

I type to you now without the sound of a generator in the background. Yes, it's that time of the week - we have city power. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of working with a generator in the next room, let me just tell you that it makes it difficult to think; by the end of the day you often feel like someone has been bashing your head all day. Turning the generator off is one of the most pleasant moments in my day.

...which is why it baffles me that restoring Kandahar's city-power isn't more of a priority for the guys who are 'winning hearts and minds' (supposedly) this summer in the city. I get that without sorting out Kajaki and Dahla dams paying for fuel for massive generators to supply the city with power is a little like burning money, but we seem to be doing that anyway so why not go for the short-term fix on this one when it could make SUCH a difference.

Anyway, rant over. Another interesting thing I heard yesterday is that shopkeepers are tearing up and throwing out their stocks of Seven Star cigarettes on account of a rumour that the company have written the word "Allah" inside the filter so that by smoking Seven Star somehow you are burning or desecrating the name of God. People really seem to be taking this one to heart.

UPDATE: (25 minutes later) The power went again. We're back on generator. Yuk.

AGAIN UPDATE: Things like this don't help either...