Julius Cavendish: Home comforts land at Kandahar airfield

The Independent

Kabul Notebook: The intent, it seems, is to create a surreal slice of Western life

It is not the rows of howitzers, assembled warplanes and other instruments of carnage that catch your eye when you arrive at one of the coalition’s mega-bases in Afghanistan. It is the Tennessee grilled ribs. Ravaged by war and riddled with corruption, Afghanistan is one of the last places you might expect to see a Burger King, Subway or Pizza Hut counter. Most Afghans never will. But for the inhabitants of Kandahar airfield in southern Afghanistan, these are just some of the culinary possibilities on the base’s boardwalk, a four-sided medley of fast food, real coffee and tourist tat.

Now TGI Friday has opened its doors, drawing thousands of servicemen and women missing the comforts of home. Decked out in kitsch Americana and with the kind of music playing in the background that usually accompanies dirty movies, it might be anywhere other than the birthplace of the Taliban. Read the rest of this entry »