Friday, December 22, 2006

Hoping Not To Need Any Chill Pills

Yesterday was another piss taking up day. Nahida woke me up early in the morning. She was acting crazy telling me that the cops are coming to the house. I figured they were coming to talk about Ati who got nicked yesterday. Nahida is extremely paranoid but I wouldn't want be in the house when they come either, I could flagged as a suspicious foreigner because of my fucked up Arabic or some militia guy among the cops could think I'd make a good catch after work. So she throws me some clothes to put on, she complains about my hair in which I was in no mood to deal with and she rushes me out of the house. I take a step out of the garage and take a peek to the left and see an Iraqi Army truck parked at the end of the street and wondered if it was a coincidence or if Nahida was getting senile on me again.

So I walked in the opposite direction with my grotesque out-of-bed hair (I get people telling me to tidy my hair when it is made tidy) and didn't turn back to look around. Nahida yelled out from the balcony to tell me to get some bread from the bakery. So I walked to Nahida's brother's spare car part shop. I felt like a Jew in Nazi Germany running from the Gestapo. On the way I thought how suspicious my wireless router with it's blinking lights and antennas might be thought of as insurgent/terrorist communication equipment by the idiot Iraqis that had spent their lives living in a rural farm. Or what if they take my computer? In my last blog post I bitched at the government.

During Saddam's days I once sent a passworded letter to my friends on a floppy disk with my dad. The file got confiscated by the Iraqis on the border. Rumours had reached me in Lebanon that my dad got detained because of the letter but the next day I found out that it wasn't true. When I came back to Iraq during summer break my friend told me the story of what happened afterwards.

Months later they broke the password on the Word file and the intelligence service called up my dad and my friend to come to their offices. My friend was shitting in his pants. The intelligence service translated the letter word by word into Arabic and what was a letter about listening to the Chemical Brothers (the music band) and asking about how friends were doing, turned into a letter about talks with 'the chemical brothers' (chemical weapon dealers) and inquiries about Oday (Saddam's son) and his personal body guard. After my friend explained everything, the polite agent was satisfied and considered the matter settled. The agent even told my friend that he would be very useful in the intelligence service. My friend lied and said that he would love to work as soon as he finished his studies.

So I hanged out at the spare parts shop for a while. Nahida's brother was surprised to see me. I explained to him what had happened and making reference to Nahida's paranoia and madness he rhetorically asked what would she do if they had come in the middle of the night.

Nahida's brother at the shop told me how recently Iraqi Army and US forces were going through the houses across the street from the shop. They stumbled upon one guy that spoke English. They got that guy to interpret for the Americans. After they were done, the Iraqi Army said that the guy who had been interpreting is the guy they were looking for and they took the poor guy with them. Nahida's brother mentioned that a ex-pilot of the brother of the local guy that provides the rations in the neighbourhood got killed, he explained that the government's offers to give pay to the old army's officers and to establish a dialogue with Baathists is a ruse to bring them out into the open so that they be taken out. The mentioning of the murder a pilot reminded me of India telling me that there was a murder campaign on Iraqi pilots by the Iranian backed militias for revenge for the bombings that they did in Iran during the Iraq-Iran war.

After Nahida's brother dropped me back home. Nahida clarified that it was because of the Iraqi Army and not the police that she shooed me out. She said if they were just Americans she would've kept me home so I could chat to them. She gave me a run through of all the things they looked at. She placed my laptop underneath a pile of books and was therefore unseen. She told them that my wireless router was a device for charging electricity. There were suitcases above my wardrobe, they asked what was inside of them, she told them that they were free to go through them and that there were more upstairs. She told me that the thing that got their most attention was my collected CD album to which they exclaimed at how many 'movies' I've got.

Then we went off to the police station to check up on Ati. And then we came back home because she needed to pick some cash up to give to the lawyer before she goes to the court house. She went on her own to the court house and left me at home since I was in such a nasty mood.

India showed up later with his new laptop. I was curious to see if his laptop would work on my wireless router which it did but not on one of the alternate WEP keys. So then I tried to access my wireless router through my browser but I couldn't. And then I fucked with it, I reset the device, and it stopped working. And I spent the rest of the day trying to get it to work. It finally did work after my ISP told me to change my static IP address. India is just bad luck to anybody's internet connection, it was his idea to reset the wireless router, the bastard!

Oh and I nearly forgot to mention that Nahida got Ati back that day and what a relief. He came back looking fine. They hadn't roughed him up or anything. I guess he won't be wearing those American boots any more and that he might follow Nahida's advice about where to go and not to go a bit more.

Today on the other hand, was cool. Nothing went wrong. Nahida's pissed off at me which is fine, don't have to hear her yapping so much for a while. She's been pissing me off because she's been going on and on about ideas about sending me off on a vacation all of which seem unlikely to happen, so I told her that the ideal vacation would be if she went on vacation instead and now she's not talking to me. So other than a quick trip to my uncle's to drop off some food so that he may give it to Fozzy (her husband who's managing my farm), I've spent the day lazing about at home. But I really ought to start studying, because I've got a lot of material to cover and memorize during this two week vacation and then the dreaded tests start.

I think that this run of bullshit that I've been going through these past few days is turning around and I can begin to chill out now.

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