Kabul’s flea markets are packed with the belongings that desperate Afghans have sold at rock-bottom prices to fund their escape from Taliban rule, or just to pay for food. Plates, glasses, and kitchen appliances are piled high on makeshift tables at the outdoor bazaars, alongside 1990s television sets and old Singer sewing machines, while rolled-up carpets are propped up on second-hand sofas and beds. Since the Taliban stormed to power in mid-August, Afghans say job opportunities have dried up and they are only allowed to withdraw $200 per week from their bank accounts, meaning cash is in short supply. “We don’t have anything to eat, we are poor and we are forced to sell these things,” said Mohammad Ehsan, who lives in one of Kabul’s hillside settlements and came to the bazaar lugging two blankets to sell. Ehsan said he used to work as a labourer, but building projects have been cancelled or put on hold. “Rich people were in Kabul, but now everybody has escaped,” he told AFP. He is one of many Afghans who come to the flea markets to sell what they can spare directly to buyers, carrying their possessions on their backs or rolling them along on rickety street carts. He has lived through “change after change” in Afghanistan, and says he is wary of the Taliban’s claims of peace and prosperity, as basic food prices skyrocket — like they did when the Taliban were last in power from 1996 to 2001.