Tuesday, May 24, 2011


There are lots of counterfeit items in this country.

At the bazaar, there are DVDs for movies that just came out in the theaters a week before. The quality of these fakes range in quality. Some of them are so bad that they were created when a person went to the movie with a video camera and took a video of the movie as it was playing and then burned it to a disk. Sometimes you'll see someone from the audience stand up and then walk out...in front of the video camera. Many years ago Seinfield did episode like this where Kramer was selling bootlegs filmed like this.

Counterfeit items are everywhere. If you want a whirlpool washing machine or a Sony TV...you can get them. They'll have all the proper labels and such but they will not be the same quality of the same products found in the states. You want GE lightbulbs? We got your GE lightbulbs (not really). You want Microsoft Office? $10 and it is yours...

The same counterfeiting happens with building supplies. It is difficult to build a building with high quality building materials as the documents that would attest to the quality are easily fabricated. Steel reports, concrete quality tests, concrete block strength tests, and even nut and bolt tests are all easily faked. Without quality building materials the buildings may not last as long as it should...or it could perform poorly during an earthquake, we don't really know...time will tell.

Counterfeiting sometimes has more immediate and deadly ramifications than a washing machine or TV not lasting as long as it should. A couple of days ago a guy with a counterfeit Afghan Military uniform detonated a suicide vest in a tent at the military hospital. The people that were killed were intern doctors at the hospital. The hospital wasn't too far from our compound. Lots of people eating lunch outside heard the explosion and our compound and Camp Eggers immediately went into a lockdown state. The Corps of Engineers has a group of people stationed at the military hospital to assist with things over there and their tent was about 200 feet away from the site of the detonation.

There are many things I don't understand about life over here...suicide bombers are at the top of the list.


  1. Kevin, I don't understand it either. It seems that there is so much hate in the world right now. I really appreciated your reflections on the subject. You are doing a good job of writing. Love, MOM

  2. I am with you. I recently had a conversation about suicide bombers with Brian. I can't imagine believing in something so much that you would willingly give your life for it. We would all sacrifice ourselves for our children or loved ones, but for our beliefs? I guess it's something I just can't relate to. It's scary that that incident happened so close to you. Now that you are there it seems like we are hearing about things like this all of the time. Maybe it's just because we are so much more aware now...Be safe!