Today, Carpetblog brings a new and innovative method of measuring improvements in Kabul's security situation by using the only yardstick that matters: one's ability to freely purchase carpets.
We proudly present the Carpetblog Kabul Security Assessment, developed after spending six days last week in the Afghan capital, two hours of which were spent carpet shopping.
If you remember last year, carpetshopping was conducted in one Chicken Street shop during Ramadan, under the watchful eye of an armed guard who hadn't eaten all day. Yoinks! Talk about tense.
For this year's carpetbinge, we had the run of Chicken Street, but it may be the case that we were more confident and committed to the project, rather than a noticeable improvement in security.
Assessment: A wash.
Last year, seven small carpets were purchased. This year, three medium sized ones, plus a bunch of suzanis and other assorted textiles that will be put to creative use. So that's a wash, too.
So, based on the Carpetblog Kabul Security Assessment, the situation in the Afghan capital is unchanged from last year.
And, the Carpetblog Kabul Security Assessment reveals other important, yet unrelated, data: we like Caucasian carpets better than Agfhan carpets.
When we got back to Baku, we sold the three medium carpets (one of which Ruslan referred to as "the dog carpet,"a judgment with which we have to sheepishly agree) and bought a much more expensive one from Ruslan. That, if you're an accountant and keep track of these things, was definitely not a wash.
But this one might be our new favorite carpet ever. (Just like with kids and dogs, it is possible to pick favorites). It's a Bordjalou Kazak. Its colors are so spectacular, we had to have it, even though the price, even when measured in our new preferred unit of currency ("barrels"), was pretty "special" as Ruslan likes to say. It's going on the wall, away from skanky dogfaces.
ZOMG! The Carpetblog camera is broken! This is a crisis of unmitigated proportions, so no pictures of the new and spectacular Bordjalou Kazak are available at this time.