Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Catching up

Well it has been a pretty busy week. I have done a lot of fun stuff. For example yesterday, I went to Kabul International Airport to try to find a way to get a military helicopter ride to Kandahar. It turns out that I can but I have to go thru Bagram to get there. Not a big fan of Bagram if you will remember. Anyway, if I get stuck in Bagram waiting on a lift, I am pretty well and truly screwed. So I may just risk it and drive. I drive everywhere anyway. I have a “disguise” that I wear to try to blend in. I can’t wear my orange Ray Bans when I am walking around because I already attract enough attention.

I had to attend a small ceremony to do some handover paperwork to one of the Afghani ministries. It was pretty cool, met some cool people including some 3 star Afghani general.

I met the Taliban guys across the street. I have to say that living directly across from some Taliban is a little worrisome, but I am getting used to seeing the turbans and blanket things wrapped around them. So far I haven’t seen Osama. I have asked some of my co-workers who live in the mountainous regions of Pakistan, Waziristan, in particular to pay particularly close attention when they visit home.

Anyway, my internet is in and out right now, I will post this and try to get some pictures up there.

Cheers,
Walt

Just driving around:


More driving:


This reminded me of Thailand:


Never would have let this happen in Baggers:


A horrible shot of me at the ceremony:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Politics and Afghanis

Well it has been a while since I put up a post. A lot has happened since Friday. Nothing bad. Yesterday I went to the Safi Landmark Hotel to do some shopping. I am trying to buy a Nokia E90 Communicator, but the ones they had at Safi are maroon and I want a black one like the Pinoy Gov have.

After Safi, I went with a buddy to a new restaurant. I met a Frenchie named Dan who owns the only French restaurant in town called Le Bistro. It was very nice. I was not expecting such a small portion of food, but then I remembered that it was a French restaurant. Had a plate of assorted meats, some very good fresh baked bread and I had some pasta for the main dish. My buddy had a tuna sandwich.

As far as restaurants go, I would say that it was at least as good as any chain restaurant in the US in terms of service and value, but when you are in the middle of bloody Afghanistan and have had little other than chicken and rice, I guess it just tastes that much better.

Today I was explaining to my Afghani co-workers about the policies and stuff in the US. They were laughing so hard about us having to have a fishing license to fish. When I explained that we have cops out there who will check your live well and ticket you if you have the wrong fish they nearly died laughing. He said “I would tell that cop to get lost, this is my fish and I am going to eat it” and then he said “I would give him 5 dollars and tell him to piss off”. Then I had to explain that you can get in trouble for buying someone off.

They were laughing so bloody hard that they were crying. I explained to them about having to use the turn signal in the car, and that you will get a ticket if you swerve all over the road like we do here. They thought I was joking. They said, “How do you miss the potholes? Anyway, then one of them asked if we had gays in the US. I told him yes of course we have gays, so many gays. They did not believe me that they have those gay pride parades, I had to show them a Google Image of this gay parade. They were so shocked. They could not believe we allowed it.

I told them about abortion on demand, late term abortions and divorces. They had no idea about this stuff. But let me tell you, they know more about American politics than even most Americans. They know all the names and faces.

Anyway, it was very funny. They could not believe that we tolerate this stuff. They also now know how bad it would be for them if the Democrats get power. They are now solid McCain supporters. I let them know that when Osama Bin Laden does his daily prayers, he is praying to Allah that Hillary or Barack get elected. They laughed about that, and agreed.

Cheers,
Walt

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Off फ्रिदय ऑफ़

I love having a job that lets me have off most of Thursday and all of Friday. Yesterday was pretty good. We had to sit thru a power point show. Anyone that has endured seemingly endless slideshow presentations, usually the last 30 minutes of the last day of the week, knows why they call them “Death by PowerPoint”. Well try listening to one in Urdu. You want to talk about painful?

Anyway, I survived it and went into the weekend. Last night we took a buddy to a place where he could, enjoy himself. We all drank some Coronas and ended up at the Brit bar. Can’t ever remember the name but they call it the dungeon cause it is like in the basement. Cool bar.

And today I went to Camp Phoenix to see what they had at the PX. Nothing much better than at Camp Eggers. They had a local Bazaar but didn’t sell many movies or CDs. I am fixing to head over to Eggers and see what they have. I managed to get some decent rum today. I got 2 bottles of Pampero rum from Venezuela. Good stuff.

They did upgrade our Vsat so now the internet is twice as fast. I am still trudging along, but it feels like it is blazing. It isn’t but it is so much better.

Later. Oh yes, there is someone that needs to come join the team here in Afghanistan. He knows who he is. I promise you will love it here.

Cheers,
Walt

Thursday, February 14, 2008

मलयेशिया Picture

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Danish Cartoons

These guys are gluttons for punishment. They went ahead and reprinted the damn cartoons. So they are closing roads in Kabul and I can’t make it to the restaurant. Not only that, but there will be tons of cops on the roads so it will be harder to get booze. Oh well.

Other than that, not terribly much is new. I think I am going to Dubai next week for a meeting with the big boss. I also have to meet with several of our suppliers. Today I made a contact to provide 450 1000Watt Metal-Halide outdoor lights. Yes, boring, but these things put out like 80,000 lumens. So they will have a total of 27 light trees with 15 of these suckers on each one. That works out to a little over 1M lumens per tree or about 30M total lumens. I am not an engineer or anything, but I think they will be able to see it from Mars! My SureFire puts out 120 Lumens and is one of the brightest flashlights you can buy. Freaking 36 MILLION Lumens. They may just end up melting the ice caps when they plug these in.

So I hope to see these in Dubai. I am also going to inspect the construction of a 1250m3 aluminum water storage tank and I have to look at the quality of 150 eastern toilets, 200 ceramic sinks as well as 204 soap holders. Normally my job is a little more interesting, I promise. But, if I have to count shower basins for a free trip to the Meridien in Dubai, well I will count them all the day long.

Anyway, I hope all my friends and family are well. Miss you. See you in about 10 months.

Cheers,
Walt

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Afghanistan and Politics

These guys know more about US politics than I could have imagined. They, for the most part, are not that sure about primaries, but neither are most Americans I suspect.

I was shocked that 9 out of 10 people I asked were unaware of the 50M bounty on Osama’s head. Maybe we need to resend that email.

Anyway, not that much to report today. Just another Sunday on the job.

Cheers,
Walt

Forgot to add some pictures!!!

Here I am with a baby beer in Aruba that cost me 8$$$


Inside a C17:


AF1 when it was at Bagram

Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Off

Today I got my shipment of suits from the US. I did not think I would need them but I actually do. Well they are all wrinkled so I have to iron them tomorrow.

Right now I am just smoking some Coca-Cola flavored narghilla and trying to get a post up.

Anyway, today we went to the local bazaar. I didn't buy anything, just looked around.

I got to meet part of a coworkers family today. What a bunch of cute kids.

Anyway,

Cheers,
Walt







Thursday, February 07, 2008

Bagram Photos

I wish I took all these pictures but I didn't. I got most of these from other people. I have a half day each Thursday so I just finished my lunch and I am smoking a shisha in my room. This afternoon I chose to smoke the mint flavor. It is very refreshing. I added some lemon juice to the water to give it more of a citric taste.

After I finish this post, and my shisha of course, I am going to go sit and watch the rest of season 6 of Smallville. I am in love with the chick that plays Lana, Kristen Kreuk. What an absolute hottie she is.

Cheers,
Walt

Here are some shots of the mountains and some planes flying around, oh and some bird too:









Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Chilling

Did I mention that I love Kabul? This is a really cool city. You can get anything you need and the people are great. I had some dumbass in Bagram tell me that the streets were 6 feet lower because they removed all the trash. What a moron. I have to tell you that the streets are street level, always have been. There are a lot of shops.

I have not been to a new restaurant since last time. Tonight we are going to RedHots. Anyway.

I have too slow of a connection to post all my stuff. Here are some shots from RedHots.

Cheers,
Walt





Saturday, February 02, 2008

Some more photos in Afghanistan

Well I tried to post my video again. It doesn’t look like it worked. Sorry.

So I was walking back from chow just now and the guard was sitting down resting his head on the barrel of the AK. I had to correct that. What a freak.

Anyway, today was cool. I didn’t get much done, but it was OK. I tried, unsuccessfully, to get into the US Embassy. A DoD CAC plus US Passport will not get you in. I already knew it but tried anyway. Oh well, I am working on getting a new embassy badge. I also went to the ISAF HQ. They have beer in the restaurants there. Was not expecting that. I think the military that work there can drink. Good. Why is the US practically the only country on the planet that does not allow the military to drink, gamble and screw while in a war zone? What fun is left?

I am going to post some pictures now. Hopefully they will work.

Cheers,
Walt


My HQ:


My view from my window:


My living room:


Some kid: After looking at this picture again, I realized I could have shot him for having an IIED. An iPOD IED.


Some doors:

My drive from Bagram to Kabul

Here is a very brief, but very large file I have from my drive to Kabul. Did I mention that I love Kabul? Cheers, Walt
video

Friday, February 01, 2008

Driving to the job site

Today was a very bad day. It sucks because today is a half day and tomorrow is a day off. I was planning to perform a Class VI resupply but now I do not feel like going out.

My coworker’s grandmother passed away at 1300 today. It sucks because he is a great guy and they were very close. She went into a coma this morning and he was at the hospital all day.

Well this job I have is with a construction company. I am not an engineer or architect or anything so a lot of the stuff they ask me to get I have no idea of what it is. Today however, I needed to check on some tables. That I can do. So I drove to the site where we have all our tables stored. What I had to do was check to make sure they would hold 6 trays for food. It turns out that they wont, they will only hold 4 trays.

While I was at the site I bumped into some Army and managed to get a few 12 gauge rounds. Now I just need to get the guns to along with them. The guys had been way too close to the car bomb that went off this morning about 5 blocks from me. No one in their convoy got hurt thankfully. It was pretty loud. It has been a long time since I heard a big explosion. I can’t say that I miss it.

Well it was on the way back when I realized that at any moment someone could blow themselves up or shoot my happy ass and I had just risked my life to drive to a storage container to make sure that 6 stupid trays fit on a table. Then again, I actually kind of like that shit.

Well I learned some new curse words in Dari today. Say "Koonee" to an Afghan and see what happens LOL!


Well I posted 9 pictures and lost connection. I am going to try to post some more without commentary and see what happens.

Cheers,
Walt