Some days during Kabul winters, I look at my bukharee and my heart breaks for the people literally freezing to death in the refugee camps, not far from my home. On my bratty days though, I resent everyone in the world who has central heating. Mostly, I look at my bukharee, the one that keeps me warm in the office all day, and I think “you are amazing”.
There are many shapes and sizes of these indoor heaters and they burn all kinds of things including gas, sawdust and coal. My personal favourite however, is burning wood. There’s something very toasty about the crackling of the wood and when it starts to radiate enough heat for the whole room, you barely remember how cold it was when you stepped in.
The bukharee is very needy and demands attention at least once every 20 minutes or so, when you have to maneuver open the lid, trying to avoid finger burns, and throw in more wood. Kept warm though, it can serve a myriad of purposes. A stove top that can boil water or heat up anything! I can attest to the fact that a can of tomato soup tastes homemade with the help of the bukharee smoke. The bukharee is also a room freshener AND you don’t have to throw your orange peels away if you place them on top. And of course… who needs a paper shredder when there’s a hungry fire in the middle of your office? I clean old useless receipts out of my purse daily.
Though it has melted the tip of my shoes twice, shut down on me every time I left for 30 minutes or more, and cost me a few fingerprints; I love my bukharee enough to call it a charming aspect to my life in Afghanistan.