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探索频道 寻找失去的佛陀08

所属教程:探索频道 寻找失去的佛陀

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Abdul heads out to try to get us filming permits, reminding us that in Herat we are not high on the Taliban's list of priorities.

"The Taliban from the very beginning, they were under criticism from western media, and that is why they're paranoid."

Abdul is trying to find the local Taliban commander- the only man who can give us the nod. It seems Kabul's ministerial writ doesn't extend to Herat. So while Abdul haggles, I wait in a restaurant specializing in boiled sheep's brains. The minutes turn to hours. My day has been a write-off. Next day, a permit arrives- we can film Herat's ancient university, though there's not much leftover now. It was largely demolished by British soldiers in the 18th century. Earthquakes and wars destroy the rest. But miraculously, the minarets remain, not even Russian shells managed to fell them. But permission to enter the citadel hasn't come through yet, so to fill in time I explore a local antique shop.

Hello.

Hello, how are you? Good morning.

Very good. You have a fantastic shop here.

Thank you. Just looking. Just looking.

Thank you very much.

Big shop. Many, many things. (Ok) Maybe glass, silver, coppers. Just looking. Just looking.

In a way, it's like a junk shop of history, filled with discarded objects from Afghanistan's turbulent past: banknotes from imperial Russia, shoes from a shah's harem, coins reputedly minted at the time of Alexander the Great, and if you like odd weapons- a particularly deadly gun.

"Just looks like, er, probably, the most famous guns in Afghanistan, that called the Gizal and it's what the, the Afghans used to fight the British for, probably the first and second wars and they used to fire these off their horses, this low butt, they used to (hide) hold them very, very high like this. Incredible weapon, I think, incredibly hard to aim, but apparently they were very good, very accurate."

But this is what I am really after, glassware that's unique to the shop. Just at the back is a kiln with the same families being making it to the same formula for centuries, and their method, well, it's a closely-guarded secret, handed down from generation to generation. And even with sanctions, they have no shortage of buyers. In fact, they've just got another.

"Two pieces one dollar."

"Two pieces one dollar."

"I think I'll be buying a lot."

"Yes, yes, yes."

At last, permission has arrived from the Taliban- I can film in the great citadel. I must say, I'm surprised- this is a military base, and pictures would be a strategic interest to an enemy. Yet, they let us film, but on one condition, every person must be removed before we enter.

paranoid: characterized by or suffering from paranoia which is unjustified suspicion and mistrust of others

writ: a form of written command in the name of a court or other legal authority to do or abstain from doing a specified act

minaret: a slender tower, especially that of a mosque, with a balcony from which a muezzin(a man who calls Muslims to prayer from the minaret of a mosque) calls Muslims to prayer

kiln: a furnace or oven for burning, baking, or drying, especially one for calcining lime or firing pottery

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