Thursday, March 31, 2005


I stink.


It's 5:30 AM, it's been a while since I've been up this late. To be honest, it's only been a few days, probably not even a week that I haven't been up this late. But for a long moment it felt nostalgic. Memories of long nights chatting with mates, getting drunk and surrendering to sleep at the sight of the morning light. I also like that false energy buzz that I get around the same time. Doesn't last too long though.

Spent all day and all night playing Zelda. Nahida's regretting buying the thing. She know sees that because of it, there's no way to get me out of the house. I'm not even doing any trips to the shops, as a consequence, my meals are starting to get nastier by the day because Nahida's doing the shopping.

I should write up a stock list of foods to be kept at home. So as to have choices available at home. I just wish my dad's car would repair itself. Then I could do some heavy shopping. And I miss going out in the car. Even though the traffic is really lousy these days from what I hear.

I really miss alchohol. Let's see I haven't had a good piss up in a long time. I can't drink like I used to. I used to binge until I puke. I still would puke, but I'd probably fall asleep first. That's my problem now, I just get really sleepy. And I'm convinced that it's true that every piss up will never be as good as the last. I'm pretty certain that was the unacheivable goal I was trying to fulfill for many years. I deserve merit for trying hard.

The moon's gone now, and the electricity is back. Got to turn off the generator.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Wind Waking

I've tried to post a couple of times over the past few days. But somehow the electric generator has slowed down, and can't give enough juice to the pc for long enough. I would be in the middle of my post and phishhhh. I'm on national electricity now so as long as it stays on schedule I've got half an hour to finish this post.

I think all the seeds are dead, if not because overwatering then my obsession with taking a peek and moving the seeds about everyday. I've misplaced two in the garden, they therefore might have a chance. And there's one in the cup noodle pot that's grown a white thing (I lifted the dirt from above it to see).

Nahida got me to buy a Nintendo GameCube to kill my time with. She's been wanting to buy me a games console for the past few months. When I heard that there was a second-hand GameCube for 45$ for sell I figured that would shut her up. I borrowed Zelda from a friend. And I'm playing that now like a crazed kid on a saturday. I'm hitting the bed exhausted.

I've been going into yahoo chat rooms and trying to learn to type in arabic. It's going alright so far. I've learnt where a few of the letters are. One problem is that I don't know how to spell in arabic. So I'm spending a little time copying what other people in the rooms are saying. Turns out I didn't know how to spell al salam aleikum (may peace be upon you - Hello).

Kiki spent the night at my place to watch football games on tv. I spent the whole time sweating over his Nintendo DS. I got 17 stars in Mario. He says he's got 22 now. It's a really neat thing the Nintendo DS. Kiki's preaching allegiance to the DS and is opposed to the new Sony PSP. The PSP movie feature is stupid since you can't use that same disc to watch the movie on TV, and it's too big, and the screeen is going to get scratched, and so on...

Time's nearly up, publish post.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Idle Hands

I've been typing during the past 2 hours and the crap electricity went out. And I didn't save throughout it all. It makes me feel that whatever I had typed was meaningless.

Summary of what I had typed and lost:

The Incredibles: Great
Ocean's Twelve: Beh
The Whole Ten Yards: Beh
Soul Plane: Good, but the movie kept pausing every 10 minutes because the bloody disc was scratched.
Bite Me!: Why did they bother making this one? I fast forwarded through the movie. It had alot of tits, but didn't qualify as porn.

My internet connection hadn't been working for the past 2 days because of some problem with the servers Satlink. I've got a stupid wifi setup according to my Bulgarian friend. I think I pay too much for my internet service (45$ a month - 92 kilobits/second) and maybe should switch provider.

Without the internet, my life changed somewhat. I spent alot of the past 2 days watching TV. Spending 2 days searching on the internet for software to crack my satellite receiver to open scrambled channels for free paid off when I watched a movie on Multivison and if the internet hadn't worked today I would've ended up watching a French movie called Double-Zero.

I dug out some of the weeds (the unwanted kind) in the lawn. Which led me to plant 5 of the 10 cannabis seeds I bought the day before I left Bath. On tuesday I planted one in the garden, one in a pot that I left outside, and one in a glass of water which I think is already dead. Today, I planted one in an ashtray filled with wet cotton wool that I put in an unplugged fridge; and I made a pot out of styrofoam Nissin Cup Noodle container, filled it with dirt and water and planted one in it and put it by the window. It's the first time I ever try to grow a plant. I hope one makes it.

By the way, Iraq is not all desert. It does have a very hot and dry climate but it also has 2 big rivers running through it. Which I think makes it ideal for growing cannabis (the best weed I've smoked was grown in Iraq). Oh and it snows up in the northern parts of Iraq (Kurdistanland).

During Saddam's rule, conventional drugs such as (cannabis, heroin and cocaine) were practically impossible to get hold of. The average cop wouldn't recognize the smell of burning cannabis.

And so, Iraqi drug abusers relied on pharmaceutical drugs instead. Besides painkillers, one famous drug was called 'Artin' (also called Benzexhol I think), this would cause visual hallucinations that would creep up on you (i.e. you wouldn't realize that you were tripping), it also left you shaking and an incomplete memory of what happened during the experience.

Street urchins are known for consuming something called 'Cycotin' (I think it's a solvent) in a plastic bag that they would breathe in and out of. These kids end up throwing alot of bricks in different directions, at a shop window or a windshield for example.

Skunk isn't to be found here. However, I do hear of hash made availabe these days, but mostly for the consumption of foreigners, especially considering the prices at which it's sold are still too high compared to Iraqi salaries. Also I expect the dealers aren't willing to deal to Iraqis for fear of getting caught.

Earlier today, Od came by; while he was here the internet started working. Od nearly drove into a convoy of humvees earlier, his friend sitting beside him was telling him to watch out. Od thought his friend was referring to the barriers on the road and hadn't noticed the convoy crossing infront of him. It became pretty close when he finally noticed them and slammed the breaks. Something similar has happened to me before. I attribute it to the camouflaging colour of the humvees. After waiting for Baldie to come for a couple of hours, we called him at home and then went in Od's car to pick him up.

We went to Lami's a small supermarket/takeaway in Jadriya. Nahida wanted me to do some shopping for her so she gave me some money to treat the guys with some food so that we go there. Od had a meat shawerma sandwich and Baldie and I had egg-basterma sandwiches that took forever to prepare. Basterma is one of those old recipes to preserve meat, I think it's of Armenian origin. Anyway it's really filling, and I can still feel it's weight in my stomach.

We then went to the closest gas station, but it had 'normal' petrol, so Od drove through it and we went to another, one that had 'improved' petrol. There wasn't much of a queue, and soon enough we were entering the gas station. But then a cop carrying an AK signaled us to stop and reverse. He place a barrier ahead of us and began to walk away. We were confused as to whether the gas station was closing or whether we had to wait our turn to get in. Baldie got out of the car and figured that it was closed.

I've wondered what it would feel like to be the next guy in line that's then denied entry when the gas station closes. Od didn't mind much he had half a tank left which was enough to last him till after tomorrow (petrol stations permit cars according to their license plates; one day evens, one day odds).

Oh the electricity is back. 2 hours do go by quick.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Lots of DVDs to watch tonight

Had trouble sleeping last night, didn't go to bed until 7:30 AM. I woke up today at around 5:30 PM and had Nahida barbeque me some Kebab. Then I took a walk and bought some pirated DVDs. Let's see what I got...

Ocean's Twelve
The Incredibles
The Whole Nine Yards/The Whole Ten Yards
Undercover Brother/ Soul Plane
Frankenfish/Bite Me!

Some of the Discs have 2 movies on them. There are also double sided DVDs that have 4 movies on them. They're all pirated. Each disc costs 2 dollars from the local shop, but at Bab Al-Shargi market they're even cheaper. What sometimes really sucks, really really sucks, is when you get a copy that been recorder using camcorder in a cinema. That usually happens if the copy was in the market really early. And there's no certain way of knowing if you bought one of those. But in such a case one could always swap it back for another movie if upon purchase you specifically asked if it wasn't a cinema taped copy.

I think I'll start tonight with The Incredibles.

Become what?

Maybe I should become a politician. I'm not into politics, it bores me like so many other things. But it's one of the few well paying jobs that don't need a degree heheheee. I just need a lot of grade 'A' skunk to get me in the right mind set hmmm. And alot of Visine(tm) too.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


I've been feeling crap for the past 5 months. Most likely caused because of the reduced number of sunlight during the winter and definitely not because of the situation in Iraq (the things that have to be added for the viewers). It gets me down when someone asks me what I'm doing with my life, am I a student or do I work. I do neither, I just sit at home and go out from time to time to shop for groceries or see a friend.

The feeling is compounded when I'm listening to some guy speak of what he's up to. Like a relative I met for the first time a couple of days ago(he says it's the second time, anyway) he's got business stuff going on in Dubai, Kuwait, Lebanon and the UK. He's got a wife and a couple of little kids. Or when my buddy gets interviewed for the hundredth time by some news corporation representing a typical young iraqi citizen. I don't envy the dude, if anything I'm happy for him.

About 4 years ago, life was going pretty well for me, although doomed it was heading in the right direction. I was beginning a new life for me in the UK, living with my mother, working with my brother and studying at college to get into uni. Then something happened, I lost my mind. And 1 or 2 months later I come out of my state of delirium and find myself in Iraq. I had lost my way. And everyday since, I curse at the events that led up to that point. I try not to blame anybody for my misfortune, knowing that that won't resolve anything. A lesson learnt: the lives we create for ourselves are very fragile.

But 4 years have passed since then and I've yet to pick up the pieces of my life and put it back together. I took IT courses once for a couple of weeks and then gave that up. Had I continued maybe I could've put those skills to work. I went to uni here in Baghdad last year and passed the first year of Busi Admin. This year, however, I postponed and I'm not looking forward to returning to it. My number 1 obstacle of getting a job here is my difficulty with arabic.

People that I meet get the impression that I'm intelligent. I don't believe they realize that alot of the time I don't understand what they're saying. At age 16 I remember being able to pick up new skills and learning things without even trying. Now, I can't get my head round chapter 2. I always understand chapter 1 though. Maybe it's because by the time I reach chapter 2 I lose interest or I keep getting beginner's luck. I'm not a disciplined person either and even less so than I was. I remember when I was 14 I was much more capable of monitoring my spending than I do now (I also had a bigger budget), I was also able to wake up for school everyday on my own.

I see myself getting older, deteriorating perpetually along with everything around me.

Everybody I meet tells me to start doing something or to get married. I personally think that I should get my act together before I get married. They explain to me that I should just do something I find interesting or good at. I don't find anything excitingly appealing. I'm just a mediocre person, jack of some trades - master of none kind of person.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Splash that backside

What happened during my trip to the farm?

I made another attempt to quit smoking so with a nicotine patch on my back and no cigarettes or lighter, Fozzy and I made our way to the farm by cabs. Lots of work was being done regarding the maintenance of the plantation.

One of the things that was being fixed was the irrigation and drainage streams, using a hydraulic excavator. Everybody there seemed pretty excited about it. Lots of people were wondering why I didn't bring my camera. I don't have a camera so click on the links a few thousand times for me please.

Some of the water coming out of the pumps is leaking through the brick work back into the river, that means they're going to have to do the brickwork all over. It's amazing that this is probably the first time they're going to have to do since my grandpa was around. The roof over one of the pumps collapsed a while ago too. That means that will have to be done also.

We hired a cleric to come to our Motheef (guest hall) to do readings for the hussein guy that got killed over a thousand years ago, and for who the shiites start crying and get masochistic over. During one of the readings I heard one of the guests sobbing with his hand over his face. The readings take place over 5 consecutive days and are done throughout the month of Ashoura. Only a few people showed up for our readings, maybe because we're the stingiest ones offering only tea and biscuits for the guests (I smoke the cigarettes we had bought for the guests hehehe) or more probably because of the incovenient time we held the readings.

At around 1 PM, the cleric comes for an hour the first half hour of which he spends chatting with us casually and during the second half hour he gives us a sermon through a PA even though we're less than 10 and right next to him. We pay the cleric 10,000 dinars for each reading and there are 5 of these readings so that comes up to 50.000 ID which is about 35$. He might be doing about 7 of these a day, which would mean about 40$ per day. And this he does throughout a lunar month. I have no clue how long a lunar month is.

I met alot of people while I was there and I tried really hard to remember their names and I think I did a pretty good job. I learnt at least 10 names over 3 days. Ever since uni and cannabis I've been unable to store new names in my head without great difficulty.

Around about this time, we're supposed to be milling rice at the farm. What we do is we take the grain from the state company's silos and give it back as rice but apparently the state company has been suffering corruption problems. Traders have been bribing the people in the state company to buy their flawed grain, as a result the state company has bad grains mixed up with the good grains in their silos. What the state company's manager has told Fozzy, is that he's unwilling to give us grain to mill, because he expects clean rice in return and that can't be done if he the supplier of the grain is supplying bad grain.

We've got two new guards at the mill. Actually they're not new, it's just that it's the first time I meet them since I haven't visited the plantation in years. Anyway, one of them has a girl aged 8 and a boy a few years younger. I noticed that they're always about, and asked them if they go to school. They don't. I asked their father, the guard, why. He told me that it was their choice. I later asked Fozzy the day I left what was the deal with that. Fozzy told me that my dad had agreed to pay for clothing and had appointed the kids to school when we hired him and they did go to school for a year or two, but then the parents made them quit. Damn that guy should be fired.

The locals around the farm made a protest of disapproval at the Jordanian government for letting a family celebrate the death of one of their own. According to some news broadcast a Jordanian was one of the suicide bombers in the recent Hilla suicide bombing, and showed the man's family celebrating the deed. I also understood that their religion really hates Shiites and honoured the act. I spoke to my uncle yesterday and he told me that the news broadcast was flawed, I didn't quite understand the truth of the matter from him, I think it was something like the son got killed in Mosul and what was shown on the broadcast was a funeral .I'll ask him next time I see him and correct this paragraph next time. I didn't even see the broadcast for that matter. But it just goes to show that the arab media isn't very responsible.

The way back was somewhat of a pain. I came back accompanied with Fozzy's mechanic in a mini bus. The trip is supposed to take 2 hours. There were several check points on the way. At one of them we were told to get down and they took a look at our IDs. They also felt my bag without opening it, not a very thorough method of checking if you ask me, but what the heck. After moving for 2 hours Americans blocked the road so we went off-road not really sure where we were going for about an hour till we came to some other city and were back on the highway. Just after we entered Baghdad the 100-year old woman with leathered skin dressed in her black synthetic cloth started puking spit on to the floor right next to me. She only was a gross sight, to have gob out all that spit was really uncalled for. Fortunately, a few minutes later a couple of the passengers got off and I moved into another chair.

Today I didn't do anything besides doing a little grocery shopping and watching The Terminal. Hans tells me the story is based on the true story of an Iranian who got stuck in Stansted Airport and is now stuck in Amsterdam. I told him about the arab thing of rinsing one's bottom after a poo with water instead of just wiping it with toilet paper. There's something about how the backside so that when you pour water on it the water doesn't pour all the way to one's crotch which otherwise would've made it a really messy business. I've only recently converted to using a bidet myself. And I've even gone a step further by using soap. Afterwards I'd use toilet paper to dry my butt. Actually I don't have a bidet in my toilet because there's not enough space, but there's a hole inside the loo that squirts water not as convenient as a seperate bidet but just as useful.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Back from the farm

I'm back. The trip on the whole went pretty well, better than I expected. I lasted 3 days, and I wasn't really dying to come back, but I thought it best that I leave while I still held a favourable opinion to the place.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Going to the farm today.

I got woken up at around 6 PM, and I went off to get some food for my trip to the farm. I think I bought enough food to last me 5 days. A big bar of swiss bittersweet chocolate and a bunch of tinned soups, tinned tuna salads, peanut butter, and jam.

I was talking to Nahida's husband who's got my dad's right of attorney and runs things there, asking him what's there to eat. He tells me that he buys roasted chickens or barbequed fish which he makes sure is still alive before being cooked from the town and takes it home. There's also a variety of fruit and veg in the market other than that there's nothing, no processed except maybe for some corned beef, yuck! I asked him if we could barbeque at home, and he said that would be impossible since farmers would smell the food being cooked, come over and impose.

It's going to be painful being there with no computer or satellite tv. Maybe I could get a newspaper and an arabic-english dictionary to work my arabic. I don't imagine there's an internet cafe there either. I'm really wondering how long I'll last out there, at least the climate is on my side. Nahida's husband has a copy of Titanic there, maybe I'm going to be so desperately bored for some form of escape that I'll go so far as to watch, something which I've yet to do.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


7 am, and I haven't slept all night again. God I hate that. The suns out, the sky is partially cloudy, with a few of them grey. I can smell breakfast cooking, and I'm asking myself if I want some. I've got 4 packs of Gauloises Ultra Lights, all of them empty. I had the last one a few minutes ago. I've got one cigarette left in my pack of Dunhill Lights. It's calling for me. But first I've got to make some decisions, like am I going to go to sleep right now, have breakfast first, or shall I go out and take a walk in the hope that there's some fool that's selling cigarettes at this hour. One thing I do have to do right now, is get some Rennies from the other side of my room.

Last night's leftover pizza is still lying on the table as well as the toast from yesterday's breakfast which was too crunchy to eat without scraping the inside of my mouth. That last cigarette. Sugar! I want to quit.

So my blog got put on the 'Iraqi Blog Count'. Should I be yippeeing or not. I hate change. But after some short lived attention, I hope it would become just another link on a list.

I really don't see myself representing anything genuinely Iraqi. It can be granted that I'm Iraqi and that I'm living in Baghdad, but it ends there. Taking a quick glance at some of the other blogs, they're serious pieces of work and they do more to portray the situation in Iraq and the effects it has on their lives.

As for myself, the idea of this blog is more personal. It's supposed to be healthy to express one's thoughts and that's what I sometimes do with my blog. Other times, I'm just recording events that I go through which I would otherwise forget. And above all, I'm just using this as a way to kill time.

That smell of breakfast just won't go away. I'm not really hungry. I'm not really sleepy. But I really want to smoke that cigarette. Gauloises are a really crap cigarette, all the cigarettes here are crap. If they're good, they're expense. If they're expensive, they rot on the shelves. And the quality of a brand varies over time. One year Marlboro's are good, then they're not. There was a time when Aspen and Viceroy were the brands to smoke. Then there was a time when Craven 'A' was good, but then they turned bad. It's not a fashion thing, the quality really does change.

Dunhill Light's are good again. There's also the confusing matter of a brand with two types of quality. In the present case with Dunhill lights there's a pack with a health warning in arabic and english on the side selling for 1000 Iraqi Dinars, and there's another pack on the market, also Dunhill Lights, identical to the previously mentioned one but instead of an arabic and english health warning there's one in english, which sells for 2000 Iraqi Dinars. Regarding Gauloises Ultra Lights, you've got ones with Made In the EU printed on them and ones with Made in France printed on them. The ones Made in France are supposed to be the good ones, they better be they cost twice the ones Made in the EU.

What is it that I'm going to do after I smoke my cigarette, I can't make my mind up. When's the car going to get fixed, I need to haul my lazy ass around a little.

Friday, March 11, 2005

It finally ended

After about 20 hours, the electricity went out at 6 PM today. The telephone line also went bust. My street is flooded with rain water. I'm hungry.

It's still on

I gave in a couple of hours after my last post by falling asleep.

I just woke up, and would you believe it the electricity cut off just moments after I woke up. But within a minute it came back. Incredible.

Over 6 hours of electricity.

Allah is truly merciful. Yeah well it's pretty incredible, it's too good to be true, I don't want to wake up in the hope that it would still be on, so I'm going to stay awake till it goes off.

Over 4 hours of continuous electricity!

I'm only guessing according to what the status of my internet connection. But I've had more than 4 hours continuous electricity. That hasn't happened in a long long time maybe even years. Maybe it's because it's not cold enough for people to turn on their electric heaters and not hot enough for people to turn on their air conditioners.

I drank two tall glasses of milk wow.


Turns out that was the second comment posted. Ah well. I don't really feel I've got any fresh views about the situation here in Iraq. I kind of regret reading that comment to which I made a long reply to because I feel I'm wasting the reader's time. Hmm, I'm I should proof read it anyway. I must've made plenty of mistakes. Well that's the last time I'm answering those kind of boring questions. Back to my normal blogging...

Wow the electricity hasn't cut off in ages.

I've disliked milk all my life, but I've come to like over the past couple of days. Something must be wrong with me.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Yippee, I got my first comment :D

The first person to post a comment on my blog had some questions. Which I feel obliged to try to answer.

1st. What does my dad do?

My dad owns a rice plantation in a place near Diwaniya and Hilla (2 hours south of Baghdad). The plantation grows rice and wheat. His latest project is the publishing of a book about my grandfather Rayih.

After nearly getting getting shot dead a couple of times. Once by the americans as he was entering Baghdad on the highway a humvee parked ahead of him shot at the headlights of his car, my dad slammed the breaks, and veered off. Bystanders told him he was more fortunate than the last guy who they pointed out lying dead in his car. Apparently, one of the humvees ahead had been hit by a suicide car bomber, and were fearing that another would come.

There was the other time by iraqis which I mention in a post back in December. We haven't bothered getting the bullet holes made by the iraqis repaired yet hehe, they're still there. I've grown fond of that car, and don't want to sell it or anything. Some say that it is it that attracts the bullets, but I believe that it is it that has saved our lives.

2nd. Was I in Iraq doing the war?

Yes I was, but strangely enough there's not much to remember. It didn't last very long and annoyingly so. My dad wanted me to go to the farm with him and my cousin and told me to stay in Baghdad was suicide. But in my head I'd rather die than go to that smelly plantation. Anyway, I stayed in Baghdad and stayed alive. All the shops closed up and everybody went home before nightfall. Sometimes I would sleep over at friend's place that we nickname India, because he used to live there. India lives in Khadraa near the Airport, we used to spend the nights unable to sleep due to the heat, so we'd sit outside in the garden and gaze at the sky trying to spot bombers. I try to remember how we went through some of the nasty parts of the war such as after the electricity station got hit and days later the water stopped flowing to our taps as since there was no electricity to pump the water. The war wasn't scary as much as it was exciting for me, you could say I've got a few screws loose.

3rd. Any stories?

I've only once brushed death. A couple of months after the war ended, I took the car out to go to a friend's house. I had ran out of cigarettes before leaving the house, and Nahida warned me not to buy cigarettes from a stalls by the roads out of fear of car-jackers. But as I drove onto the main street, there were a few humvees parked on the main road. After U-turning, onto the other side of the street, I see a cigarette stall on the street. I think to myself if the americans are on the other side then there's little chance of me being car-jacked. It's worth mentioning that this took place at around 2pm in the summer at which time there are few people on the streets due to the uncomfortable heat. I park my car by the stand and without switching the car off or getting out, I tell the kid what brand of cigarettes I wanted and was starting to count the cash, then I look up in front of me and there's a red brazili (volksvagen passat from the 80s produced in Brazil purchased by the government as part of an arms deal) parked sideways and a dude coming out of the back seat with AK47 in his hands. It took me a split second to realise what was happening and without thinking I put my car in drive and press the gas with caution instead of slamming it down out of fear that it would break down when most incovenient. The brazili wasn't parked so near as to block my path and I drove off as the man with the AK yelled 'STOP' in arabic repeatedly. After I had passed him he shot at my car. A guy with a white Kia mini-van caught up with me and told me to go tell the traffic cop at the end of the street to speak to the cop. The guy took the cop and we drove around the street, but the red brazili had run away by then. In hindsight, I've got no clue what the cop would've done since they hadn't even been issued guns yet. I then went over to where the americans were, I didn't want to go straight home just in case they the red brazili was following me from a distance. The americans explained to me that they thought that it was they who were under attack - the poor sods. Later on a bullet was found in the gas tank. I don't know if I was lucky the car didn't blow up or if Hollywood has been lying to me all this time.

4th. Is it as unsafe in Iraq as the american media makes it to be?

Well that's a hard question to answer. The media those give an image of how dangerous Iraq is, but I'm not really sure how that image is interpreted in the minds of the viewers. I could make a list of all the things that do make it dangerous.

  • Getting shot by Americans or Iraqis because you approached a checkpoint or a convoy at a high speed or came too close. This is pretty annoying because sometimes it's hard to notice them.
  • Getting Car-jacked, this is very rare nowadays.
  • You could get kidnapped if you have a reputation for being wealthy. The threat of which comes from someone that you casually know such as a previous driver or the guy that installed your new kitchen.
  • Targetted by insurgents if you have affiliations with the government or occupying forces.
  • You could get killed as a result of a family feud or out of vengence, this is much less random, but could've been avoided if there were rule of law.
  • A car or suicide bomber if you're standing in the wrong place such as near army recruitement center or something religious.
  • If you're an arab foreigner you could be wrongly sentenced to death. Something Nahida worries about for Attiyeh our Sudanese helper who lives with us. Sudanese people here have been here for a long time, doing the work that Iraqis don't want to do for cheap.
  • If you're a foreigner, you could be put on tv, and video clips on the net will show your head being chopped off.
  • If you sell alcohol or consume it in public.
  • If you hang out with a person of the opposite sex on a romantic spot by the river.
Those are all the ways I can think of right now. There are probably more. So is it Iraq less or more dangerous than the media makes it out to be. After thinking about it. I would say it is or even more so.

But to live in danger isn't the only thing that really sucks about living in Iraq. It's the overwhelming degrading quality of life which is for the most part because of the security problem.

Before the war, we used to stay out very late at night. There were prostitutes on the streets that could give you a blowjob for a few bucks. There was booze in the stores. There was locally made beer that everybody had a suspicion that it was spiked. When I was in school in the mid 90s we used to make house parties, boys and girls would come over and we'd go home around midnight.

Now, we're all home by 9pm and the prostitutes all left to other countries to make more money or aren't able to work on the streets anymore because of punk zealots. All the booze shops got closed down because of the same psycho zealots that threatened to blown them up and in many cases they did. I think the local beer factory got blown up by the americans because they thought it was a chemical arms plant I think. And because of the security situation parents are very fearful of letting their girls go out of the house except if it is to go to school or work (the religious-social norms-wholesome-decency thing comes into play here too strengthened by the fear created by the psycho zealots).

There, I'm done :p

Monday, March 07, 2005

Don't press SHIFT for too long

This is a great oppurtunity, every day is a great oppurtunity, and I'm ungrateful for it. Why the hell did I have to sleep late last night. I've had lots of ideas of what I wanted to write here while I was sitting in a back seat of a car. But those ideas escape me now. That often happens to me.

I've got to call mum, and see what she wants to do. Electriciy is a little better. I really need to go crrraap. Eventually I will, that's for sure. The electricity which comes for 2 continuous hours at a time will cut off under 20 minutes. If I choose to wait much longer I'll have to also go outside the house turn off the electricity from the switchboard, turn off the fridge, water cooler, water heater and then turn on the generator.

I'll go now.