Sunday, March 04, 2007

Broke Sweat Today

Not in the mood of posting, but doing it anyway. Last week my class agreed to take a week off from college and start attending today. But not all of the usuals showed up and those that showed up decided to skip class. The day would've gone by if Dudu and another didn't get caught by the economics teacher. Which just happened to be the most boring one.

The odds and evens rule is being enforced again. I got used to using my car everyday for the past couple of months and now I'm back to taking cabs. And they can get quite expensive these days. I was passing by the bab-alshargi market and I realised that it was a great chance for me to check out some Nintendo DS games. So I told the cab driver to drop me off and he reluctantly took the full fare for my trip home. He needs the money more than I do and I never give money to beggars.

It was very sunny today and I was overdressed and I was carrying my college notes and books in my hands. For some reason, backpacks never caught on over here. And considering the security situation it'd be very suspicious if someone was seen carrying one. But there is a general trend among Iraqis to be willing to sacrifice practicality for the sake of adhering to social norms. Maybe someday they'll get too many books to carry in their hands and they'll be forced to take on backpacks.

I passed through the shops I knew used to stock DS games but with no luck, but there were plenty of PSP games. I ended up finding one shop that had a handful of old games. I bought an odd brick dropping game just because I didn't want to leave empty handed. I wasn't in the mood of browsing through all the DVDs in the market, so I just went into one and asked him if he had a proper copy (not filmed in a cinema) of the new James Bond movie. No luck there either, he said the proper copy had just arrived on the internet today and that he should have a copy soon. Translated: there's no decent copy, don't bother checking the other shops, and here's a bullshit excuse to put your mind at ease. There's one shop that sells semi-decent pirated audio CDs so I got me a couple of those. The nice thing about them is that they chuck in previous hits of the same artist in the remaining space on the CD. But the dodgy CDs don't always copy to my hard disk well.

Last Thursday, I bought a new wireless access point but the thing won't attach to my grid even with an adapter cable. So on the way back I stopped by the shop to see if he'd be willing to take back the thing. He couldn't believe that the cable from my grid ends with a SMA connecter, I told him I'll take a picture of it. So he told me to go back home and check if I could maybe unscrew the SMA connector off and reveal the normal one. I asked him if it would be okay if I returned the thing if that doesn't work and I think he said that it'd be okay. I hope he doesn't try to get me to swap it for a D-Link wireless access point. But the shop guy strikes me as the relatively gay type that understands that good services brings good revenue as opposed to the usual computer salesman that's intent on holding on to those couple of bucks he made on that sale no matter what.

I didn't feel like paying for another cab now that I was only a twenty minute walk away from home. And on the way I stopped by a kiosk to buy a drink that to my surprise was run by what looked like a handicapped person to me. He was awfully joyful. Seeing him work, reinforced my stance towards beggars as just pesty con artists.

Even though I was very hungry, I stopped by the kebab place I usually get a sandwich from when I'm hungry and can't be bothered to wait for Nahida to cook me a meal when I get home. The old man and who I suspect to be his son greeted with me a bigger smile than usual. The son asked me where I've been all this time. They've only got one thing on the menu: kebab sandwich for about a dollar and a half. From what I've heard it's been around for ages and has a branch or two abroad. Even though it doesn't show, it's one of those relics from the good days.

So I eventually got home and I checked the stupid cable and there's no chance that there's screw on adapter to take off. I'll go to the computer market tomorrow and go to that shop that hates me for returning another access point I bricked while updating, and ask them if they've got an adapter cable for me.

Then I took a nap and when I woke up, Nahida sent me off to some guy that lives a few blocks away and works at the state seed company. He's a really nice guy and very cheerful. But today his cheerfulness was often interrupted by bouts of despair and complaints of how life has become. I told him that my dad had sent me an e-mail a few days ago mentioning that I should prepare myself for spending the summer in the farm. I explained to him how daunting a task that would be for me and that on the other hand the rewards could be good. He pointed out the treachery, dishonesty and corruption of the Iraqis all of which I still don't know how to deal with, but if I was able to overcome all of that, then that would be the reward. And from there I could start my own militia perhaps and then begin my campaign for world domination.

Miz by the way has flown to Egypt today to chuck his little brother there and to buy an apartment for his parents who are in Amman to move to. He's delegated me to assist Kala's parents in case they have any internet problems. He's supposed to come back in ten days.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading about your daily life there...the little things. The bits and pieces of your world.

It has to be difficult for you there...but you seem to be holding up well.


Anonymous said...

You write an addictively good blog bro.

Don Cox said...

Very interesting. Thanks.