Sunday, January 9, 2011

Radio Kabul

This summer, the radio station Hossein liked to play on the way to work used 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" as inter-program filler. Even realizing that almost no one listening could understand the lyrics, I was still a bit shocked at the song's popularity. Some weeks later, one of my usual taxi drivers proudly showed off a small video screen he'd installed, complete with looping footage of the Pussycat Dolls.

So I shouldn't really have been surprised to learn that Rihanna's latest album is quite the craze here. I hadn't heard it yet, though, so climbing into a taxi yesterday to hear "sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me," still felt completely surreal. Oh, Kabul, where no woman bares her elbows, but where a girl can sing about S&M to her heart's content (in English at least).

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