Sunday, April 27, 2008

Just my thoughts ओं थे parade and Pagman

A few days ago I was awakened by the sounds of artillery fire. At first I thought it was incoming and took cover while taking a shower. While I was taking a shower it became apparent to me that the rounds were not incoming after all. It turn out that they were firing dummies in preparation for the parade today celebrating independence from the Russians.

The place where the parade was held is about a stones throw across the river from where I live. I have been watching the preparations and was eager to see the parade. Well as I took my position on my roof to watch and after the parade started, rounds were fired from a PKM and a few AK47s. A mortar also landed and wounded some people. Some stray rounds impacted my building so I got off the roof and went inside.

The sad part is that today is an absolutely beautiful day. The weather is perfect, there isn’t a cloud in the sky, and the dust is practically gone from the winds 2 days ago. Right now they are saying that they will go ahead and try to have the parade again. I hope they do. For about 2 hours after the attack, helicopters were swarming the area trying to find the insurgents, and a lot of tanks were moving around the city. I am not sure how this happened because the gunfire was coming from this abandoned building overlooking the mosque. Why didn’t they search that building? You know those movies where the Secret Service checks all the buildings and whatnot, well they didn’t do it. Even in Baghdad, when high ranking people stayed in the Rasheed, they would send in security to scope all the exits, check the elevator shafts and whatnot. Even a day 1 moron should have known to check that building.

Oh well. We expats call this place Halfassedastan for a reason. It seems like these guys just don’t want to do anything. For example the other day I told this guy to go talk to this other guy. So he put it on his list. Well then he walked over to this other guys office, the other guy wasn’t there so my guy just crossed it off his list. He never went back, never called the guy, never sent him an email. I told him to go over there, and he did. Done. It never occurred to him that the intent was for him to make contact with this other guy, rather than simply walking over to an empty office. And the guy isn’t stupid, just lazy and uncaring. So that delayed something by a day.

I have learned that if I want to get any little thing done, I either have to do it myself, or practically hold their hands and watch them do it. It is so frustrating.

Anyway, today is a holiday so I am not going to get too bent out of shape. Friday I went to Paghman to have lunch with the CEO at his house. I really did not want to go, but I ended up having a decent time. I mean really, you work with these people all day, all week, and you finally get a day off and they want you to come hang out with them. It isn’t that I dislike my coworkers or anything, I just need a break from them is all.

Well the drive out was pretty nice. A bit unsettling but nice. You see one of the main reasons I am able to move as freely as I can is because I always travel with a very low profile. It is bad enough that I have these infernal tinted windows, but the General decided to have a 3 car convoy. 3 car convoy equals 1 thing. Target. So there we are driving around in unarmored cars near Kandahari refugee camps in this big profile convoy. Not fun.

Well we got there and had a nice lunch. Rather than the usual chicken and rice we had some Arabic dishes. Nasty Arabic dishes. I have learned that anytime someone offers me a “delicacy”, I better run. I have never had a “delicacy” that I have liked to eat. Some of the types of “delicacies” I have been offered include cow brain, eyeballs, tongues, animal feet and balls, various organs, and whatnot. No thanks. I don’t care if it is an insult to not eat that garbage, I aint eating it so get over it. “Here you are Sir, some goat gonads”. You eat em, freak.

Well anyway we decided to take a stroll after lunch. We climbed up some giant mountain. The views were incredible. You could see all the way back to Kabul due to the low levels of dust. Later in the day the winds picked up and the visibility was reduced. By the time we made it back to Kabul the dust was darkening the early evening sun very quickly.

Anyway, I just got done smoking a shisha with a coworker. We are scheming a way to bring western cigarettes to Kabul without paying the tax. We are going to pay off some dude and then open a shop near the city center. We will also sell some alcohol, but have not sorted the delivery details. I am also getting into the antique business. They have some very rare stuff here. I plan on selling it all on E-Bay, soon.

I got 2 new batons today. I asked for a swagger stick, but they brought me a wood and metal baton. Not quite what I wanted but I guess it will do. I had wanted the swagger stick to just smack people, and unfortunately you can’t really do that with a baton. Well I guess you could but it would leave a more lasting impression. I requested that they build a bunker on the roof and stick an RPG gunner up there with a PKM belt fed automatic 7.62 MM machine gun. I would prefer a .50Cal but I can’t find one. Right now that is.

Well I love it here. I think I may stay for a long time. Now I will try to post some pictures.

Cheers,
Walt

This is the Intercontinental Hotel.


Another meat shop. It looks like the meat is right on this dude. Very sanitary though.


This is some lake where all the Kabul residents go on holidays. A lot of people die here due to being really drunk or on opium. They say there is no bottom to this lake. Hmmmm...


This is some building. Looks cool. No idea what it is.


This photo was taken from a bridge. Looks cool to me. You can drink this water as no cities or anything are between the melting snow and this water. I guess Global Warming is real after all.


View from our villa:


Me, up on some mountain:


More me:


Me and the dudes I was with:


The villa seen from my telephoto lens:


Here I am up on some wall:


These are the other expats:


OK, look at the car we are behind. Keep in mind we are going fast.


I just love this photo. I think this one will be copied so I added my website to it. My favorite part is the caution sign used while transporting babies in the trunk.


This is a Kandahari refugee perched on a rock:

3 Comments:

Blogger Rex Zeitgeist said...

Ahahahahahhahah....Hilarious post Walt....

Do you ever stop and think of the oddness of what has became commen place for you over there?

Between the goat nutz and the swagger sticks, you will have a heck of a book to write in a couple years about your travles.....

Monday, April 28, 2008 at 8:38:00 AM GMT+3  
Blogger nanc said...

walt - i've often wanted to put our teens into the trunk, most recently on a trip to californistan - one wanted to listen to classical music and the other wanted to watch movies - there just don't seem to be enough earplugs on a 1,700+ mile trip.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 8:31:00 AM GMT+3  
Blogger Rex Zeitgeist said...

Where you at Walter?

Thursday, May 8, 2008 at 7:54:00 AM GMT+3  

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