Kandahar Diary

From: Iain
Sent: 26 March 2006 13:45
Subject: Baksheesh

As you drive north into the rural areas you pass
through many small villages.  The kids run to the road
and either wave or hold out their hands.

On my last trip they were all shouting "Baksheesh" at
us.  I leaned down into the vehicle and asked the
interpreter what it meant.  He indicated that it means
"Gift."  The kids hope that we will either throw candy
or pencils and paper.

The army has a saying called "Buckshee", which
generally means "free."  I wonder if this is a hand-me
down phrase from the old British Army?

One little girl stuck out from my first trip.  She was
about three years old and wore a blue dress.  She was
very dirty and her jet-black hair was spiked out in
all directions.  She held her hands out palms-up and
flexed her fingers the way that Emily asks to be
picked up.  I guess she was hoping for a hand-out.  As
a rule we do not give them things from our vehicles as
it is unsafe.