Operation Afghanistan: Discovering Tactical Base Gamberi's local tailor
At some of the larger U.S. military bases in Afghanistan, a Middle Eastern-style market, called a bazaar, is set up and run by locals to offer troops a taste of the region they're deployed in.
At the outdoor bazaar at Tactical Base Gamberi, there are more than a dozen shops selling local items like handmade rugs, jewelry and lapis lazuli, also known as the blue rock, a stone primarily found in the mountains of Afghanistan.
You can also get a hair cut, and find electronics and cleaning supplies-- and many shopkeepers claim they can get you anything you want. You can even have a suit handmade by an Afghan tailor.
All transactions here are done using the U.S. dollar, but unlike the Post Exchange on base, all the prices at the bazaar are negotiable. As for exactly what you're getting, well, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
The shopkeepers, who work at the bazaar, all live off base. Each day, except Friday, the Muslim holy day, shopkeepers are escorted on to the base by soldiers around 9:30 a.m., calling it quits at 4 p.m.