Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Iraqi food, redux

Well, tonight I decided to be bold and go with one of my civilian advisors and my three interpreters over to the Iraqi side of the base to eat at one of the unit's restaurants. This is a small restaurant with questionable cleanliness that also has a small grocery store, a Smoothie Bar, Hookahs, and (of course) Chai. All of which you pay a different person for! So we start off inside the restaurant and get some vegetables and yogurt stuff (along with some dirty silverware). It was all pretty good, then I remember that I got really sick on the local vegetables in Jordan...oops, too late. Anyway, so we get some Falafel, some kabobs, some grilled tomatoes, some flat bread and some water. The only stuff I really trust is the water, but at least the Kabobs and Falafel are cooked. It all tasted pretty good. Then we had to pay. The Iraqi Dinar and the US dollar have a funny relationship. I think that we paid about 8500 Dinar a piece for the dinner. That is just over $7 bucks for the meal. Then a few of us went into the store. I picked up some Sim-Sim. This is basically a wafer made of sugar and sesame seeds. It is wicked good, as one of my NCOs says. Then came time for Chai...which we had to go outside for. By this time, there is a crowd of about 40 guys all sitting there watching some Turkish Soap Opera, sipping chai, smoking their hookahs, and debating the topics of the day. So I have this evil Chai...not sure what is in it, but it is awesome. And has this strange affect on one's bladder. You go from not having to go to DEFCON 5 (about to pee your pants unless a latrine pops in front of you NOW) in about one second. Now I know why all these guys here stay up so damned late! They drink Chai with their late dinner, and they are afraid to go to bed. They would wet the bed every night. Anyway, here are some pictures of us from tonight.

Not sure how all these pictures will turn out on here, it is harder to manipulate these things than I originally thought.  It could just be Google Chrome is not very cooperative.  I couldn't even get the thing to come up last night, so I am continuing while I watch the cubs in the bottom of the 8th.    So far so good on the Iraqi food.  No ill effects as of this point.  That is good.  I have heard that the body just has to get used to the local bacteria...but I don't recommend the "Getting Used to" part at all.  Pretty painful!

So we got some more rain last the time I woke up at 0430, it was completely dry. Not sure if it was because they have done a good job at getting all of the dust and dirt swept away from in front of our CHUs, or because it is getting hotter and dryer.  Whatever the case, it was nice to walk back from the showers this morning and not get all muddy.

I think that my Brigadier may have gotten himself in some trouble with his boss.  I heard that he basically told him that he was going to quit if he did not get any support.  We are still without any real generators, even though the base power is only on for 2 1/2 hours daily.  Supposedly we have a meeting today with the location commander about the power situation.  If things don't improve, we are going to have to go to paper exercises and ditch the much for being into the 21st century!  We will have to see what will happen today.

I must start getting ready for the day...and send my undivided concern rays to a Cubs 8th inning rally.


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