Thursday, May 12, 2005

خرب صدام

I think the new electricity schedule is 1 1/2 hours on and 4 1/2 hours off. It's painfully warm. Soon enough it'll be too hot even for the flies and mosquitoes. The electricity has only just come back and now that I have the air-conditioning on the sweat on my forehead is slowly drying up.

I remember when electricity cuts were considered as some kind of punishement handed out by Saddam, we used to joke about it being a matter of time till he cuts off the air to breathe. Constantly flowing electricity is something that alot of people take for granted. But during Saddam's day, it wasn't so much of a inconvenience. We used to use the electricity cuts as an excuse to go to someone else's house. We'd just bounce around town going to friend's houses and then move on when the electricity cuts wherever we were. Of course back then there was no traffic and it was safe to go out whatever the time.

A schedule used to be printed in the newspaper of when the electricity would be cut also. These days it would radically change without warning every week at best. I hear most of the blame is goes to the corruption going on at the electric plants. On the other hand, from time to time I would hear someone say that they heard from a reliable source that the people there are working around the clock to fix the problem. 2 years of this crap, and such rumours become less credible. Somewhere I saw a chart showing that only on one day did the electricity reach pre-war levels.

Today I woke up at 5 pm. I went out and did some groceries. Took the car stereo to the repairs, he told me to come back after 2 hours at 8pm. He said that probably an IC was burnt, and that he had to replace it and that it'll cost 10,000 Iraqi Dinars (7 bucks). When I told Nahida that I had taken it to get repaired she got all excited , telling me that I should'nt of taken it to get repaired because they'll nick the parts inside, and that I should've taken her with me. She wanted to come with me when I pick it up. It really takes the piss when she gives me this kind of attitude. I'll admit that I'm not the saviest of people and probably an imbecile when it comes to dealing with Iraqis. But I've got to learn, and I've got to make mistakes in the process. I yelled back at her and she cooled off quickly enough. When I did go back to the guy he told me that I'd have to come back tomorrow because the tape player was a real mess.

After I get it repaired I'm thinking of getting it replaced. The sound is crap and the radio is doesn't go further than 99 MHz on the FM band because it's from some weird region (maybe the gulf). It would be nice to get a CD player. I could burn CDs and listen to them in the car. Much easier than burning CDs than using the tap deck to record them onto cassettes. Or I could just buy an mp3 player and use a CD car kit.

Kiki came over for a short bit to watch a DVD that contained the CBS report in which he was interviewed. He had told me to come with him on the day of the interview but opted not to since I spent a month working for CBS and therefore didn't feel it was right of me to participate. To be honest I didn't do any work while I was there. I just drank as much of their supply of beer as possible. I later figured that drinking is looked very down upon during work in the US. Anyway, Kiki was quite was disappointed when he saw the report not only did they only use a 30 second sound byte of what he said during an hour long interview, but they also took out of context what he had said. He was describing the presence of American culture before the war, but in the report it's shown to describe the new presence of American culture after the war.

The generator is acting weird. It's working fine but every hour maybe it just dies down and restarts by itself.

So what's in-store for the coming day? Somehow need to get new tires for the car. At the moment I'm cruising about without a spare. And the bolts on the spare are sticking out, making it appear that they're loose and nice people on the street are warning me about them. It's been such a long time since I've driven a car. I feel so clumsy on the road, the car being a '90 300 SEL makes it feel that much awkward. Some guy asked if I wanted to buy it while I was at the car audio repair guy. I replied that it was a pile of shit. Who'd want to buy a car with bullet holes anyway? hehehe.

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