ITV Anglia reporter Kate Prout and camera operator Chris Warner have in Afghanistan covering the work of soldiers from the Anglia region based there. In this dispatch, Kate reports on being invited to supper with the Afghan Police.
It's been a while since I've had to sit cross legged on the floor for three hours .Not since morning assembly at primary school, I imagine. And it takes cramp to a whole new level. But when you've been invited for supper with the Afghan police you tend to go along with the local ways. We're with the Royal Anglians who are working with the local Afghan police at Patrol Base Kalang. Head of the force, Major Naziz Ghoul, invites us into his home for 'shura' - a meeting that also involves goat curry, delicious homemade flat bread, sugar-laden sweets and copious amounts of chai tea.
I am the only female in a room of twenty or so British soldiers and young Afghan men and it's fair to say I am an object of curiosity. The army boys tell me later that the Afghans consider me the 'third' sex - I am clearly a woman but not as they know their women. And when we leave the young lads see how hard they can shake my hand. Quite hard as it turns out.
While we are eating the TV stays on and we watch a bit of a Turkish soap opera. Every time a woman appears on screen her cleavage is blurred out. Ironically the following show is a dubbed version of 'Pirates of the Carribean' and Keira Knightly is allowed to swan around in a brief neglige without the merest hint of editing. I am about to start a small rant about this when one of the army captains catches my eye and I wisely settle down and ask a question about scorpions instead (the Major is so scared of them he sleeps in a tent. Inside his house). The Afghan's hospitality couldn't have been warmer but the evening served as a reminder about the cultural gulf between our two nations.