Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I'm waiting for my lunch right now: barbecued kebab and meat tikka.

A couple days ago, I spent the afternoon with Nahida's brother to fix my generator and fill up the car. He got the generator working just by adding some oil and an oil thickener. Nahida's brother explained to me that a ring inside one of the cylinders is bust and so oil is seeping into the combustion area which in turn is burning away the oil, which is why so much exhaust fumes are coming out of the engine.

Food's here already.

I would've fuelled up my car on my own, but that day was odds and my car is evens. He was driving, so as he approached the petrol station he prepared one thousand and a half dinars. So he drives up to the entrance and the FPS (the Iraqi government security force in charge of protecting ministerial interests) guy blocks our path and signals us to go drive back out. Nahida's brother drives up to the guy and tells him to take the money. I was thinking to myself that one thousand and a half dinars (just over one dollar) wasn't enough to bribe him. And the guy was very reluctant to take it, but then Nahida's brother started to act angry and insisted that the guy takes the money and the guy did.

Ah and the after meal tea is here.

While Nahida's brother was filling up the car, a man in a suit with a walkie talkie showed up looking at our license plate and had a go at the FPS, which it seemed accumulated to nothing but a slap on the wrist. As we drove out the FPS guy whined that he got told off because of us and Nahida's brother shouted with a big smile that he was a hero. I was just glad that the petrol station we went to wasn't the one I regularly go to. But to think that an Iraqi's integrity could be sold for just over a dollar, doesn't give much hope that this country will ever come to any good. I don't imagine integrity is a word that runs much through the mind's of Iraqis.

Last night or the night before I had what I hope was the conclusive conversation about our relationship. It turned I was right in thinking that I was potentially her first love. I told her again that I didn't have any true feelings for her, and she said she didn't want to get involved if I didn't have mutual feelings for her. So after an hour of being on the phone, I told her that I really want to put the matter to a close because it's been dragging on for way too long now. So that was that. I did try to convince her that she wasn't really in love with me and that all she had was an infatuation or that she in love with love itself, but she didn't buy it. To prove my point I asked her why she loved me, her best response was that I was a rare person. I also selfishly tried to convince her that we ought to just have a relationship for the fun of it and for the sake of the experience but she didn't buy that either.

Aside from studying for my upcoming tests. I've got a homework assignment: make ten questions and answer them. I had six prepared last week and I did one today. Just got three more to go. It's bad, I'm going to really screw up on the upcoming tests. I can't seem to get myself motivated enough to start making sense of the material. It looks like hieroglyphics to me. And memorizing lists of lines that I don't understand is too troublesome. I'm now thinking that it's okay if I don't perform well in the beginning, it's not a bad thing if I show bad results in the beginning and thus setting the standard very low so that when I do put in an effort into it, the improvement would seem so substantial that I would deserve more merit.

I still didn't get a new mobile phone. Most of the shops in my neighbourhood are still closed. For the past three days and today, I've been going out for a drive in the neighbourhood to find some shops other than the four that I've already checked a few days ago. One of those four that I checked did have the Sony Ericsson W810i that I've chosen to get for 285 dollars, but I want to be able to just see it available in another shop or two just to assure myself that I'm not getting ripped off. I was thinking of getting the K780a after reading a review of it on the net, but I think it's price isn't within my budget and I've yet to find a shop selling it. One sorry excuse for a mobile phone shop today told me that I'd have to wait till Sunday for all the shops to open up again, I guess he's right. I'd either have to wait or go to another neighbourhood where they're not so afraid to open.

It sucks how their isn't a one stop shop where you can see all the mobiles on the market here. It seems that all the shops only stock a few models, the most I've seen in one shop is about 30 models. It's strange how up until now we don't have and major chains of stores of any kind nor we do have any really big department stores. But come to think of it they do in the north. They've got malls with nicely polished floors and well dressed people spending their new found disposable income, it's sad we don't have the same here in Baghdad where if anybody has any disposable income they'd use it to bugger off somewhere else.


Sang J. Moon said...

How much does it cost to bugger off to northern Iraq where the malls are?

snafoo said...

Hmm... not sure the keeping-expectations-low plan is so smart. I doubt it will succeed in keeping the pressure from your family etc low, to the contrary, it would add pressure because you don't have a cushion.
Anyway, I'm sure you know it's procrastination. I'm quite good at that myself, so I'll shut up about it.

Sorry to hear the thing with Suzy didn't work out. But you did the right thing, so pat yourself on the shoulder and have a drink. Maybe she has a cute friend who she's talking to right now, telling her what an honest guy and how honourable you are for not taking advantage of her feelings?

I just got myself a new phone, too. 30 euros (plus a two year contract woth another 250 in base fees) for a K800i. :)
Anyway, the stores here usually don't have that many models, either. They usually belong to one of the large telcos, my guess is that they pick a few models they can get cheap as bulk oders and push them with their contracts.
I asked the saleswoman how the picture quality was. She took a picture of me and showed me on the screen... pff... anything will look on a tiny 320x240 screen. Still, it turned out to be good on my laptop, too. Anyway, what I wanted to say was that you can sometimes find pictures taken with the mobiles and in depth reviews on Wikipedia. So much easier than searching on Google, which often only yields consumer reviews when you search for a product name.

Shaggy said...

I don't know how much it costs to relocate to Kurdistan, but that's not the only choice, there's Jordan, Syria and the new hot choice Egypt, because Jordan and Syria have already taken their fill of Iraqis. Then there are those that seek humanitarian asylum elsewhere such as Sweden for example which is a popular choice for Iraqis these days.

Sang J. Moon said...

Actually, that brings up a question that has been in the back of my mind for a while. Every Iraqi I hear about who wants to escape the violence seems to seek to go out of the country. Why wouldn't Kurdistan be a far more desirable destination? It is still part of Iraq so I assume the paperwork, if any, is far less restrictive than Jordan, Syria, etc. From Kurdistan, it would be possible to work to better Iraq by spreading the peace from the north towards the south. Are some talking heads in the USA here correct when they say that Iraqis lack the level of national unity needed to form a united democracy? I argue that there is plenty that binds Iraqis to a common abstraction called Iraq. The comedy series called "The Government" a.k.a. "Hurry Up, He's Dead" is just one example of commonality that binds most Iraqis. Am I wrong?

Anonymous said...

Shaggy, I'm infatuated with you, too!

You are indeed "rare". And, damn, you can write a good story.

Love from Tilli (Mojave Desert)

Konfused Kid said...

I was kinda disappointed you didn't get to pinch bums. but okay. u did the boring right thing.

Sang J. Moon, I love it when some guy is unafraid to proclaim stupidity for all out in the open, keep on asking dude, one day some nice guy will answer u. ;)