Saturday, April 19, 2008

Normalcy

Have I mentioned I love it here? Well I do.

This weekend was great. Yesterday I managed to meet some local kids and fly a kite and play some soccer. (It is actually becoming difficult to refer to soccer as soccer rather than football btw) I have some cool pictures. I also got to make fun of some girls who were scared of a really nice stray dog. The dog is a big playful animal, just like any fun loving dog in the US, but they really got freaked by this dog. I laughed at them and they joked that I should go touch it. So I whistled and the dog came over and I started petting it. They all ran away. Note to guys in Afghanistan, a good way to “not” pick up chicks is to have a cute dog. I probably could have hooked up if I stabbed the dog or decapitated it. HAHA just kidding, I think.
We have a black cat that shows up at mealtimes. I swear the thing is not 8 months old and pregnant. The blackest cat I have ever seen with really cool eyes. Well the cat is snarky. She knows which of us will feed her and which are mean. So she will sneak into the house behind you and if you are nice she will purr at your heels, if you are mean, she will stand in front of you and make you shoo her out and then run back in. She is such a lush. Anyway, one thing about cats is that they act the same pretty much no matter where you are. You know how they like to dig their claws into your skin when you pet them, well they do the same thing here.

This cat reminds me of the monkeys I saw in Malaysia. VERY snarky!!! If you let your guard down for 1 second they would rob you blind. They got my buddies bottle of water. He sat it down for like 1 second and they snagged it. This cat will do the same thing. Very quick little sucker, just like those monkeys. Only the monkeys would work in teams, 1 monkey would distract you and the other would steal your crap. We saw the monkeys set this one couple up big time. They posed for pictures, acted all nice, and the instant the tourists put down the camera, a really fast monkey came out of nowhere and stole the camera. I kind of felt bad for them because they had let the monkeys make fools out of them. Oh well. The only thing they got from me was about 1000 bananas I kept buying to feed them. I am a sucker for monkeys and elephants. You put a monkey or a baby elephant in front of me, you are gonna be assured that I will buy something from you. That being said, don’t take an elephant ride in Thailand. Very scary. Go see the shows, but do not put your life into the hands of an 80 pound Thai boy trying to control a grown male elephant while sitting on its head with a crow bar. Not fun. Like riding a motorcycle without handlebars.

I seem to be focused on animals tonight. Not sure why. But today I captured a giant fly. In Iraq the flies are puny but move with lightning speed. Here they are giant, almost like flying spiders. When they land and start patrolling the area, it seems like they are medium sized spiders with little wings. They have these really long hairy legs and move like a spider or centipede. The good news is they are easy to kill, the bad news is they leave a big mess. That is why I trap them rather than swat them. You can spray air freshener on them and they will head for a window. I cut a slit in the window so that I could force them out. So far it has worked. I have managed to send 3 flies out the slit in the window and not have to scrape them off my desk.

Anyway, that is probably one of the most boring posts I have ever made, but oh well. This aint a porn site and that wasn’t a money shot. I try to save my good posts for when I really feel like it. Tonight was more of a ramble. So disregard it if you don't like. Today is Monday for me, so please bear with me.

Well I have made up mind. I am going to actively seek employment elsewhere. I do love it here, but there is “0” job security and being in procurement is a bad place when you are dealing with locals. One of my favorite lines in procurement when replying to a boss is to tell them “I can tell you the same lie they told me”. The sad thing is that it is very true. My performance is based on the success of others. For example, if I order a weigh bridge from Pakistan, and the guy tells me it will be ready on the 1ST, well that is what I tell my boss. If he is lying I am to blame. If he then completes the bridge on the 15th and tells me it will ship on the 20th, well that is really all I can go with. After all he is the manufacturer and that is what he tells me. So if he tells me it will ship on the 20th and the freight forwarder tells me it will arrive on the 1st. Well that is the info I must relay. If they decide to screw around or not return my phone calls and the time drags on, I am the one holding the bag. Because they told me one thing, but reality is another thing. I figured out a way around this though, I add 1.5 months to whatever they tell me. So if they say I will 100% sure have it one 1 May 08, I report that it will be ready at the end of July. Kind of like with pizza deliveries. If they tell you 30 minutes and take an hour, you are pissed, but if they say an hour and take 45 minutes, you are happy. That is what I do. I also overestimate costs by a least 75% on my first quotations, then I lower them to make them sound like a deal.
Oh well, we all know that.

Time for bed.

Cheers,
Walt

Me and my driver:


Kids in the back alley playing football:


My friends with a kite:


A pic with me and some kids:


Another:


A crowd:

5 Comments:

Blogger Rex Zeitgeist said...

I thgouht kite flying was outlawed?

Looks like a fun time with the kids Walt.

Sunday, April 20, 2008 at 1:56:00 AM GMT+3  
Blogger nanc said...

walt - you're very good at conveying what you want to be seen in words!

let me tell you about our "clawed mewnet" - a little scruffty runt of a tabby cat when we got him about seven months ago.

he's been the greatest little joy in our lives - the first quirky little thing he started and kept doing from almost day one was to steal all the goodies from my husband's side of the bed (golf tees, spare change, chapstick - whatever he put there for the evening) and he takes the items and brings them downstairs and puts them into his food dish!

he also puts ALL of his favorite toys there. here is the kicker - this cat fetches - i'm NOT lying!

i did a post on his trip to the vet to get neutered a couple of months ago - it was quite a hoot in our blog community.

so, where are you headed next?

Sunday, April 20, 2008 at 6:22:00 AM GMT+3  
Blogger Walt said...

Rex,

It was illegal to fly a kite under the Taliban.

But don't worry, as soon as they have enough electricity to play PlayStation, they will quit with the kites all on their own.

Monday, April 21, 2008 at 1:56:00 PM GMT+3  
Blogger Kelly said...

Bugs, gross.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 1:21:00 AM GMT+3  
Blogger The Phantom said...

Hey Walt! Nice post here. You are getting the hang of dealing with the locals. Your next job will have an all new set of rules! LOL
Take care



The Phantom

Saturday, April 26, 2008 at 12:47:00 AM GMT+3  

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