Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Shopping at FOB Shank

Afghan Wal-Mart

The PX
They Always have Cigarettes...too bad the Soldiers don't get the Message...
As (I assume) most of you are tackling the traffic and hoards of shoppers at the malls, I would like to show you how we shop here at FOB Shank.  First of all, there is the PX, or Post Exchange.  This is an extension of the familiar shopping site present at each military post or base in the States.  Known for great prices and no sales tax, the PX has long been one of the favorite benefits of many service members.  Unfortunately, there is usually nothing for sale!  The supply lines through Pakistan are frequently hijacked, and nothing gets through.

Spelling isn't their Forte

It isn't quite Ranger Joe's - Trust Me!
Our other option is the “Bazaar.”  This is a small row of shops run by local national civilians who commute to the FOB every day, at great risk, to sell things to US soldiers.  If you are in the market for a fake watch, IPod, DVD player, or illegal copies of DVDs, you can find them here!  The DVDs are hysterical – when a movie comes out on a Friday in the US, you can buy it on DVD here on Saturday!  3 for $5.00!  Sometimes they even play in your DVD player!  The copies frequently were made from a camera in a theater, and you can see people get up and go out for popcorn refills!

Carpet Shop Owner making us Lunch

Lunch at the Carpet Shop
There are some high quality items for sale, as well.  There is a carpet shop that has Persian silk rugs for sale that cost in the thousands of dollars.  You have to be a savvy shopper, however, to know how to spot the valuable items.  One day in November, the carpet shop owner invited the FST surgeons and CRNAs over for lunch.  We sat on the floor (on a carpet!), and had a stew made with lamb and rice.  Everyone had a loaf of flat bread in front of him.  You tore some off, and used it to scoop some of the stew from the communal bowl.  It was really quite good, and nobody got sick!

Afghan Restaurant - Best Pizza and Burgers on the FOB!
One of the most popular spots is the Afghan Restaurant.  It is quite small, and has a rather limited menu.  The pizza and burgers with fries are a big hit!  Oh, and they also serve kebabs.

Obviously, the best way for us to shop for needed items is by using the Internet.  Unfortunately, when you order something, it can take 2-4 weeks to arrive.  It isn’t uncommon for items to get lost in the mail, as well…

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author only, and not necessarily of the US Army or the US Government.  None of the information given is classified in nature.

1 comment:

  1. Hi All family/relatives of Army who deploy in FOB SHANK logar, Afghanistan this is Shahin From FOB Shank logar , Afghanistan.

    i am an Local national linguist interpreter of Army in FOB SHANK and i am an Afghan national i have to say to all families of army down in FOB SHANK there is best ever place for army and nothing worry warm water , different food, anyway every thing that an army want he/she can find very easily also FOB SHANK is in Logar province of Afghanistan which no far from Capital of Afghanistan means Kabul city.
    i am every 2 months come my home in Kabul from FOB SHANK .
    if you have any thing saying to your relatives armies in FOB SHANK so I can Help you are to link you are with your relatives as i am interpreter inside the FOB SHANK.
    this is my email address .

    i hope every body should not be worry from this place. wish you all the best of of luck.