Friday, April 04, 2008

अनोठेर_Friday

The title of this post is "Another Friday". For some reason it keeps putting it in Hindi and I don't know how to stop it. I tried using an _ , but that didn't work.

Today was a very enjoyable day despite the constant rain.

Earlier, I went to Camp Phoenix to try to find some Copenhagen. They didn’t have any. So, thoroughly soaked, I headed back to the office. On the way back, the traffic was light. We encountered a large US mil convoy with 2 Rhino busses and 4 Hummers. We stayed well away from them. We also encountered some police checkpoints. As usual, we were stopped for having tinted windows. I asked them why they don’t just rip the tint off or get a permit. Apparently, the permits are hard to get and the tint is a part of the glass, not a film.

Well we talked our way out it and I showed them my DoD card. No worries. And then a bit later we encountered a Turkish patrol. Again, I did not have my camera, but I wish I did. From now on I am going to carry my camera.

Anyway, recently, I have heard people refer to Afghanistan as a “Romantic War”. It has also been brought up on various websites I frequent. Well today I actually felt it. It is strange to be in one of the most dangerous places on Earth, yet still have the ability to drink a beer and share a laugh with some great dudes. This afternoon, we had a few brews and joked and played with some kids, just like a normal weekend back at home. It is eerily similar actually.

Well as we were driving back from the store, we tuned in to a station that was playing music you might hear on a canal in Italy. It was very nice. So there I was, sitting in the back seat, listening to the music and watching the rain drenched commotion of the streets while riding around the streets of Kabul. It was surreal and at the same time, very comforting.

It is hard to describe the feeling. When you are in Baghdad, you are on edge. Constantly feeling the pressure that at any moment some car might drive up next to you and explode. Same thing goes in Afghanistan, but not so much. The people look at you, but not with hatred. And you don’t feel the need to keep your eyes open all the time. I have a Nancy Ajram DVD which I play on the headrest TV player. I watch that a lot more than I watch outside.

The simple fact is that Kabul is very different from Baghdad and more similar to any major US city. There are beggars and there are the rich. There are nice shops and there are crappy shops. The streets are dirtier and the people all look different, but they are all doing the exact same things people do in the States. They just do it differently. The fact that there are donkey carts on major thoroughfares is 1 example.

Anyway, I am rambling.

So after that we went to Camp Eggers to visit the weekly Bazaar. It was pretty busy this week. I bought 5 new DVD releases for 9 bucks. Hopefully they all play. The problem with pirated movies and whatnot is that you never know the quality until you play it. It was the same way in Iraq. Sometimes you have a good image, sometimes there is some guy eating popcorn and you can’t even hear the sound. My favorite versions are the ones when people have to hide the camera.

So that is my news.

Cheers,
Walt

2 Comments:

Anonymous jacque_strap said...

Walt – this is in response to your question from your April 3 posting. No, you don’t know me. I saw your blog referenced at drudge.com and I started to read it awhile back. At the time, my brother was doing 14 months at Taji and I was curious to learn more about what was actually going on over there. I travel internationally all the time for work, but my general rule is to avoid the Middle East as I think it is the world’s asshole (Tijuana being the armpit). While I do not agree 100% with your politics (pretty opposed too much of them actually), I find your blog pretty fascinating. Please keep up your posting.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 8:36:00 PM GMT+3  
Blogger Walt said...

I intend to. I am done with DR, but will post here as often as I can.

Cheers,
Walt

Monday, April 21, 2008 at 4:25:00 PM GMT+3  

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