Afghanistan

Peterborough is blessed with restaurants from all sorts of exotic culinary cultures. We have people from all over the globe living in Peterborough and I personally love it. Sadly, not everyone feels the same and that's a large part of what my ManKIND project is all about. With the media ramping up tensions every day I wanted to do my bit to embrace all cultures.

When I first decided to do a random act of kindness for the Kabul restaurant and tick Afghanistan off my list I originally wanted to create some free photographs for them.

The first time I popped in and asked to speak with the manager he wasn't there. I got his name and a time for when he'd be returning.

When I returned and asked to speak to Mr X I explained I was offering free photography for him to use however he liked as part of a project I was doing. I showed him my website and all the other participants in the ManKIND project, as he was clearly suspicious.

Despite showing him the details of my ManKIND project he just asked for my number and said he'd call me if he was interested.

Isn't it sad that so many people are suspicious when someone offers to do something nice for no reason? It says a lot about the world we live in. It almost made me question the whole project. "Why be nice if people are going to look at you like your mad, or up to something!"

However, that's the whole reason why this project is worth bothering with. People don't talk to their neighbours, local businesses have given way to chain stores and the only way people communicate is through Facebook, text and email.

That's the sad news. To counter it, here are two cheerful items to end on. Firstly, one of our neighbours a few doors away invited dozens of families from our road to join them for a curry. Admittedly it was to promote their new catering business, but lots of people turned up and chatted late into the evening. It was a fantastic idea and bonded the whole neighbourhood; not just for one night, but we'll be more friendly to one another from now on, I'm certain.

Finally, since my offer of free photographs was met with suspicion (or maybe he honestly didn't feel he needed any images, or thought I was a rubbish photographer!) I decided to leave a lovely review for the restaurant on Trip Advisor.

The food at the Kabul restaurant is beautiful and deserves praise. I always hugely appreciate the positive feedback I get about my photography, so hopefully it will help them too. Here's what I wrote:

"This is one of our new 'go-to' take away options. It was fantastic to discover a completely new style of food. Since the prices are quite low I half expected a glorified doner kebab but I was happily surprised. The meat is so well cooked and fragrant with herbs and spices. We've used them 3 times so far and only ever had the takeaway. The beautiful 'Roti' (over baked flat bread) was included free (probably because we ordered so much!) and lasted us for several days. I love trying new food and this is a whole new avenue of flavours. If you're worried about trying new things then this is a great choice because the flavours aren't too alien, but they're different enough to be interesting. Again, the quality is excellent too. Peterborough is blessed with lots of different culinary cultures, from Lithuanian and Portuguese, to Afghani. I urge everyone to give them a try because who wants to keep eating the same old chain-restaurant food you see everywhere else. It's like going on a mini holiday! Enjoy."