Thebastidge: Jumaa round-up
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    Friday, June 01, 2007

    Jumaa round-up

    Ah, the naiveté of new guys: it's so cute. Within my first few Blackhawk rides over Baghdad, I experienced a flare popping from the automated defense systems, and nearly crapped my pants- flash, bang, and then a little piece of chaff blew back in and landed on my arm.

    I jumped as far as my seat restraints over body armor would let me, and my co-workers happened to be looking right at me when it happened. I caught some razzing for that one. But it's all in good fun.

    Today, I'm walking back from the chow hall when a Marine SSgt makes a comment about how this place needs some rain, because everything's covered in dust. I snorted a little bit and commented that it would just leave mud all over everything, expecting agreement. One of the things everyone notes who has been here very long at all, is that the rains oddly don't wash things clean. It always leaves behind a speckled droplet pattern of dust on top of everything. In fact, my bicycle seat, wiped clean through use, will have dust on it after a rain that just wasn't there before.

    So when he said, "At least when the mud dried everything would be clean." I opened my mouth to explain, then just shook my head and walked on. He'll see.

    We've had some folks in trying to tie into our network the last couple days. You would think that in this day and social climate, the first thing someone says when they pop their head in the door, would not be "Whew, it's good to see humans again. I'm so tired of these camel jockeys." we all just looked at each other with a "WTF?" look and when we were alone, discussed it (since this person could be said to be a customer in a way) with our boss.

    Then in subsequent conversation, after commenting about how nice our facilities were, the question was posed:

    Person: "How do you keep the camel jockeys from messing it all up?"
    Boss: Excuse me?
    Person: repeats
    Boss: "Excuse me?" in louder and more incredulous tone
    person: repeats one more time, either completely oblivous or deliberately offensive.
    Boss: "We talk nicely to them."

    To the credit of the group, the one who said that stuff seems to be an embarrassment and a mill stone around their necks to the rest. She has been wasting our time and theirs with trivial bullshit as well.

    While I will not make any claims to being overly politically correct, and I find much to criticize about the culture and society here, talking about an entire race of people as if they are not even human doesn't sit well with me or any of my friends and co-workers here. We have a lot of respect for some of our individual Iraqi counterparts and co-workers, and immense sympathy for their people and the plight they have suffered under Saddam and continue to suffer due to the fanaticism and death cult mentality of the minority.

    The laundry debacle continues. Water rationing has kept the self-service laundries all over the compound closed for the majority of the time. I was lucky to get the one load done. The DFAC has apparently received new convoys though, so the palace chow hall is once again, the place for fine dining.

    I learned some new stuff at work this week, which is always good. Watched "Letters from Iwo Jima" last night, and man- that is an excellent flick. I will be buying that to watch again, the real version, not from the Hajji shop. I want to see the extras and commentary- something I almost never do. When I watch a movie like that, I sometimes get caught up in listening to the dialogue over reading the subtitles, even though my Japanese isn't really good enough to catch more than a bit of it- maybe 20%. I haven't seen "Flags of our fathers," but if it's half as good, then it's well worth watching as well.


    Blogger bitingblondewit said...

    I haven't seen Letters From... yet, but I may have to add it to the list. I can highly recommend Goodbye Lenin. It's funny and ironic and a great movie.

    Can you get NetFlix there?

    7:32 AM  
    Blogger Larry said...

    Probably could, I have an APO address, but I wouldn'y bother. Even here I don't watch tv or movies regularly enough to make it worth while.

    DVDs in the Hajji shops are a dollar for screen cam copies and 3 dollars for pirated copies after the commercial DVD becomes available. You can get entire series of multiple seasons (like all of ER for example) for about 15-30$ per set. Quality varies.

    10:36 AM  
    Blogger Larry said...

    I should be studying more anyway- I have some computer certifications to achieve and I plan to take flying lessons when I get home- I took one flight before I left, and it's logged, so I'm officially a student pilot. Which is a species of pilot, so I guess I'm a pilot.

    Albeit one who knows nothing much about being a pilot yet. But I have been reading up.

    10:40 AM  
    Blogger bitingblondewit said...

    I thought about taking lessons-then I met a student pilot. Oy. During his pre-flight check, he failed to notice that he had not secured a door of some sort. The pilot giving the lesson also failed to notice it. The door came open during the flight and they had a situation. It turned out fine, but I now have a low opinion of the local flight school. Eventually I'd like to live in a larger city and maybe give it another try.

    Pirated copies? Shame on them!

    8:57 PM  
    Blogger Barb said...

    I haven't seen Letters From ... yet either, but Flags of our Fathers is a very good movie. It isn't all about the battle, because it's really about the impact on the men who raised the flag. But there's plenty of intense action, and I think Eastwood did a fine job.

    10:22 PM  

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