Narcotecture: Kabul's Poppy Palaces

See them here.

The last one I find particularly interesting. Note the caption. The house does not look all that old, so I think the journo clearly meant “Thailand” instead of “Siam.” That is definitely a Thai design; looks like it could have been picked up in northern Thailand and dropped into Kabul. And so that can only mean one person he’s referring to, which would jive with that person’s normally whispered activities. Any more I dare not say.

I actually live and work in buildings just like this in Kabul. The style is also similar to buildings I’ve seen in Baghdad and elswhere in the middle east when people have new money. Lots of strange use of space and garish design elements, but only one outlet in a giant room.

Came back to add that a couple of us looked at the pictures and we have identified one of the houses in the photos. It is being used to house international relief workers. I suspect the author of the article knew that, which puts his comment about AK47 armed guards in a different light. They aren’t guarding drug lords, but foreign relief workers. The building we identified is a couple of blocks from the UN guesthouse that was attacked, so armed guards might be warranted in such a setting.

The last one is in a similar style to the garish Nouveau Riche mansions one sees in the Dominican Republic. The Washington Post once described it as “narc deco”.

Ah ha! Who’da thought a journalist would be fudging the truth?

If you ever spot that last one, assuming that’s not the one you’ve identified, let me know if you find out anything about it. The one in a Thai style that’s claimed to have been used by a certain gentleman from here.

Those who live in glass houses should not throw Kabul stones.