Michael's Dispatches

Tennessee in Afghanistan

37 Comments

tn-in-kandaharAnyone missing this car?

23 February 2011

The weather in Kandahar was cool and bright all day.  I travelled around Kandahar City with people from the Central Asia Development Group (owned by a close friend) and we visited eight cash for work projects.  This is a very interesting story that I started researching in 2010.  More on that in a serious dispatch, later.

Have been seeing Afghan, American, and Canadian forces around town but only in passing as they rumble by.  During my first day back did not see any fighting.  More interesting was this Toyota Corolla with a Tennessee license tag and the Buddhist reference that “MY OTHER VEHICLE IS THE MAHAYANA.”

If you are missing this car, I saw where it went.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Marc · 7 years ago
    :D That is too damn funny!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Peter · 7 years ago
    I was giving directions to this car out of Nashville. It obviously headed east when I told the driver to head west.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    M Joe · 7 years ago
    That is just hilarious!

    Mahayana or Vimana?!?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Griffin · 7 years ago
    Hey they stole my car!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Peter · 7 years ago
    I don't like to see anything Tennessee - Roll Tide :-x
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Brett · 7 years ago
    ...and a 'Dead Head'at that!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mark · 7 years ago
    RL means Radnor Lake in Nashville.
    http://www.radnorlake.org/welcome.html
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sandra · 7 years ago
    Funny to say the least but even stranger. Anyone run the tag on that bad boy yet??
  • This commment is unpublished.
    baldon73 · 7 years ago
    Any bets this was a vehicle paid for with our Tax Dollars under the "Cash for Clunkers" program? They were supposed to be destroyed-but notice the bumper stickers.
    "Art not Arms", "Change how you see,not how you look." Some Liberal Arts professor got $$ to buy a new Prius,and the dealer sold this car on the Black Market.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Garett · 7 years ago
    One of the cultural advisors at the KPRT told me you can make a lot of money importing wreaked Toyota vehicles into Afghanistan through Karachi. While Kandaharis suck at carpentry, they very good at welding and mechanics, they can fix any vehicle with minimal resources.

    Back in September they stole a lot of our pickets off wire obstacles in Bazaar e Panjawai and they made a ferris wheel out of them. They bring it out in the bazaar for events like Eid and Ramadan.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Scott · 7 years ago
    Well we are known as the volunteer state. @ Peter; Round the bowl and down the hole, RTR. ;-)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Roger The Shrubber · 7 years ago
    they need to update the "change the way you see, not the way you look" bumber sticker
  • This commment is unpublished.
    David · 7 years ago
    The Bumper stickers are also an interesting read. Do I see one about "change?"
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Roger The Shrubber · 7 years ago
    [quote name="Brett"]...and a 'Dead Head'at that![/quote]
    Must be a load of liberals with the "M for Moron" tag
  • This commment is unpublished.
    James · 7 years ago
    Sad that the idea that this is an honest Afghan national who worked/studied in the US and then was fortunate enough to be able to take his treasured Toyota home with him hasn't occurred to anyone else here. Far easier to go with the cheap jokes and degrading ethnic characterizations.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sarah · 7 years ago
    hahahahaha, yeah, he passed me over here in No. Carolina and I said to head north, you know, like to the DC area but clearly they cannot follow directions....how'd they get past the incoming traffic at the Florida Keys I wonder :-)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Thai · 7 years ago
    [quote name="James"]Sad that the idea that this is an honest Afghan national who worked/studied in the US and then was fortunate enough to be able to take his treasured Toyota home with him hasn't occurred to anyone else here. Far easier to go with the cheap jokes and degrading ethnic characterizations.[/quote]
    Thank you James for such comment. May every best be with you and your loves.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jeff Speight · 7 years ago
    I pre-ordered Michaels book, Iraq Inside the Inferno back in 10/2010 and have yet to recieve my copy. Have any of his readers had the same experience?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    James · 7 years ago
    [quote name="Jeff Speight"]I pre-ordered Michaels book, Iraq Inside the Inferno back in 10/2010 and have yet to recieve my copy. Have any of his readers had the same experience?[/quote]
    Michael has mentioned in recent posts that he has only just finished proofing the galleys and returned them to the printer. I daresay we'll see our copies within a few weeks.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bill Spence · 7 years ago
    That is not a valid Tennessee License plate. For sure it wouldn't be my car because I refuse to drive anything made by countries whose people tried to kill us.
    Bill..Age 78..Memphis, Tn Area...U.S.Army Veteran
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Brian · 7 years ago
    The owner of that car is a Deadhead judging from the tie dye sticker on the rear window. No surprise. Could be there for healthcare like in Seva.

    And the only moron is Roger. I know conservatives who are morons just as I know liberals who are morons. Time to get beyond political labels.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    James · 7 years ago
    [quote name="Bill Spence"]That is not a valid Tennessee License plate. For sure it wouldn't be my car because I refuse to drive anything made by countries whose people tried to kill us.
    Bill..Age 78..Memphis, Tn Area...U.S.Army Veteran[/quote]
    You must do a lot of walking. Most Corollas you see in the US were built in California by Americans. Funny how that works, my Mercedes was built in Tuscaloosa!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Brian · 7 years ago
    I bet that is a person involved in healthcare. Be cool to find out. The car was not stolen. The owner shpped it there.

    Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mike Howard · 7 years ago
    Ditto. I e-mailed the publisher and didn't get a reply.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Javier · 7 years ago
    Lighten up James. It's the American sence of humor, that's all. No harm meant. Sad that anyone's gotta explain that to you.

    On another note...
    Godspeed Michael. Thank you for what you do.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bryan A. · 7 years ago
    It is a valid TYPE of liscense plate, however there are no longer records of that plate with the state of Tennessee according to the database I have access to. There is info available for the plates before and after in numerical sequence. If that was a cash for clunker car, the engine was supposed to have been disabled. I work for a car dealer and personally got to do that (its FUN!) Anyways, Its off the official record books so my guess is its not stolen.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Singadick · 7 years ago
    Didn't anyone notice the rear view mirror showing the police car?
    How do you feel about the Afgan cops having your six, Mike? :-)
    Richard
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Hispeed · 7 years ago
    Isn't it funny how they try to politicize EVERY topic? So sad...so sad :sad:
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Hispeed · 7 years ago
    I agree. More than likely the vehicle was shipped back to Pakistan then Afghanistan. I've seen the same thing in other countries. Why are conservatives so ignorant?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bill Treadway · 7 years ago
    Google Meher Baba. That and the bumper stickers tell a tale. Haircuts are a discordant note... Maybe more CIA assassins?
    Hope they are not just hangin out and handing out bibles...that could get ugly.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    steve · 7 years ago
    I always wondered what Al Gore did with the car I sold him! Just kidding.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    DamanJohn · 7 years ago
    [quote name="James"]Sad that the idea that this is an honest Afghan national who worked/studied in the US and then was fortunate enough to be able to take his treasured Toyota home with him hasn't occurred to anyone else here. Far easier to go with the cheap jokes and degrading ethnic characterizations.[/quote]

    That is extremely unlikely. Most of the left hand drive Toyota corollas here are clunkers bought in from North America or Germany then resold at a massive profit.

    There aren't any Afghan-Americans paying thousands of dollars to transport thier hoopties back to the motherland.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Renee P · 7 years ago
    No Tide.

    WAR EAGLE!

    (Sorry, this has nothing to do with Yon's photo, but I have a kid at Auburn.)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    steve · 7 years ago
    I did a computer check and it was stolen in June 2010. Too funny that it showed up in Afghanistan. Course, lots show up in Mexico, but Afghanistan? That's funny stuff.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    William O. B Livion · 7 years ago
    [quote name="Bill Spence"]That is not a valid Tennessee License plate. For sure it wouldn't be my car because I refuse to drive anything made by countries whose people tried to kill us.
    Bill..Age 78..Memphis, Tn Area...U.S.Army Veteran[/quote]

    So you don't buy cars made in the South, or the North? Didn't we go to war with Canada at one point?

    I guess there's enough auto factories in Tennessee that you have a few choices. Of course, most of them are owned by Japanese corporations.

    Or maybe you're a Volvo guy. That's the only car I can think if in a country we were never at war with.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Shaun · 7 years ago
    ...but isnt Volvo owned by the Chinese - US involvement in Boxer Rebelion would mean US has been at war with the Chinese too! Is there anyone the US has not had a ruck with?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Shea Brown · 5 years ago
    :-) The Meher Baba sticker refers to a guru type who passed away, and there is a beautiful 250 acre retreat here in his honor in Myrtle Beach. Very wild to see that sticker in ?Afghanistan !!

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