More International Shopping at Kandahar

Most different national compounds have a Post Exchange (retail store), and we can all shop at any of them. The US has the largest; the Brits, Canadians, Dutch, and French all have one. Each store is operated by the respective military support agencies, so they stock merchandise from home (whereever home is), and as a consequence it’s like taking a mini-trip. The Germans opened theirs this week, after many weeks of tantalizing “opening soon” signs. One of my colleagues returned from scouting it, saying, “I’m just been to the Man Store.”

The Brits sell brands from the UK: Cadbury’s chocolate, UK toiletries, London tabloids. The Canadians sell merchandise marked bilingually in French and English. The French sell pastries and croissants (doh!), as well as some dearly priced clothing from such outfits as North Face and Columbia, and some equally dearly priced German-made boots (only in mens models and sizes, of course). The Dutch sell toys, games, model kits and the paint for them, and … the biggest bar of Toblerone chocolate I have ever seen! The Germans seem to be focusing on a surprising under-served niche here: military accessories. That would include web belts, knife sheaths and the knives to go in them, and so on.


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