On Bagram, I never carry cash. This stems from several factors: but primarily it is no need – food, uniforms and shelter are always provided eliminating any need for change in the pocket. There are several on post vendors + a bazaar, but there is nothing that I need/want. Tourist goods? I have or can knit shawls. Hookas, marble elephants and wooden gegaws have just no appeal and can be purchased in most airports, cruise terminals or over the Internet. At the rare time that I need something from the PX I can use my Gov Issue cash card completely eliminating all cash and credit card risk.
All of this is background on why I am completely out of the habit of carrying any money with me. For that matter, I don’t even carry a wallet. All I need on a daily basis is my ID card (which gets me meals and Air Force flights). I do have Euros, Pounds Sterling and Dollars (US) in my wallet tucked safely in my BHut.
On the road, again I just need my ID card. Cash? Forget it. As you know, keeping track of IBA, Kevlar, rucksack and weapon strains my abilities to the max. I have been the misplaced wallet (see Melbourne Australia) and don’t want to go there again.
So here I am at KIA (Kabul International Airport – I think that is the long form of the intials). There is no US Px or US Finance Office on post. After all, this is IJC (International Joint Command) territory with the emphasis on International. There is a German PX, an Italain )Px, a Polish Px, a .. You get the idea.
Tonight there is a no host dinner a the on-post Thai restaurant. 17.50 E or 20$US. If I wanted to risk it, there is an Afghan Bank ATM. But I don’t have credit or debit card in my possession. Not being much for spending cash when the DFAC (UK KBR run) is “free” or going to a social dinner.
In reality, there is another over riding consideration. The dinner is a fixed menu buffet with two chicken and two beef dishes. $20 for rice? I don’t think so.