Thebastidge: Driving like madmen
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    Friday, September 29, 2006

    Driving like madmen

    There are no 'rules of the road' here. Everything is "Inshallah", a fatalistic worldview that doesn't take into account cause and effect relationships at all. People will speed around blind corners, or around other vehicles, there are no 'lanes of travel'.

    I haven't seen ONE unblemished vehicle in the IZ. And I'm not talking about bullet holes and explosive damage, I'm talking about scrapes and dents and whole fenders torn off by casual unwanted contact with walls and other vehicles.

    I've mentioned a bit about the neglect I've seen here of, well, everything. Part of that is just the poor initial construction. It's like it was all built by lemurs: fairly clever beasts but they just don't have that opposable thumb thing down yet. Even the palace shows less care (probably less knowledge) in construction than a public building in the states. Which surprises me, because contractors get fired in the states, and they can be shot here.

    Went to my first company-sponsored beer bash last night to do a military-ish hail and farewell. Pretty cool. It was at the home of one of the Iraqi guys who works with us. We barbecued in this guy's courtyard, and sat on the grass. The guy must be pretty affluent, judging from the size of his home and the insides. He had a good-sized generator just for his home as well, a sure sign of a poretty rich guy. However, the neighborhood looked like a crack house neighborhopod back home. Not just run down and poor, but piles of trash, huge holes in the half-paved "street". Most of you would have looked at the neighborhood and decided it was not a place to be. Here in Baghdad, it just seems par for the course.


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