Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

The club was fun. I saw women! I also popped into the bar every other moment to grab a drink. Later hanged out with Od and Zaif. We took a drive around and got a bite to eat. Poor Od's got to go to work in the hospital tomorrow.

The curfew tonight's still midnight. One would of thought that they'd make an exception on New Year's! So here I am back home, it's midnight... Happy New Year!

Getting Close to Number 400

The sun's about to set on this last day. Keeping it going with the nostalgia, I've got my old laptop playing old songs that I haven't heard in a long time. A lot of which I listened to while smoking up copiously such as I did ten years ago and that I'm now. The speakers on this old thing are so much nicer to that that I've been accustomed to. I've barely done any work ever since ending the harvest and I've been getting high instead. I must take down a notch the getting high act, but for now I'll leave that till next year. Maz just called, we're going to go to the local social club. Might see women there! Haven't seen them for a while.

Something To Work On

Got some stuff to fry up for a meal. It's been a struggle to feed since I'm in Baghdad and Nahida's still at the plantation. Nostalgia's good. I'm working my old laptop now. Most of my blog has been done on this little one. It's hard disk growls these days, angry that it's been woken up. I hate my other laptop that I've been using for the past year and so. It's got Vista. It's also larger, heavier and has bad speakers.

I wonder what I would have blogged ten years ago. My life seemed like a big mess around about back then, and it's funny to see after all this time, I'm suddenly finding myself in a big mess again with no idea what to do with myself. I know I'm going to do something silly over the next four months or so. But for now, I've turned myself back into a glorious sloth again.

The electricity is back and it's time to start frying food...

Still no improvement on my puff pastry frying skills. The pastries nearly look burned on the outside but there's a big layer of pastry on the inside that isn't getting cooked.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Love My Dad

I can't sleep. But looking at this page is having is starting to make me a little sleepier. It could also be because I just smoked some hash I carefully scrapped from an asthma inhaler that was not big enough to hide some hash and had some bits still stuck on the inside. Yes I've run out of hash for the first time in over a month and I might be feeling some withdrawal.

Had the most annoying phone conversation with my brother; annoying, because the line kept dropping. I've mentioned that I had made an agreement with my father for 30% of the plantation profits. Now my father, is backpedaling on the deal. That's not unexpected of my dad, even my brother told me to make sure I get the cash.

My brother is now acting as an intermediary between my father and I, and we spoke today. The conversation was filled with some very good jokes. Such as dad's carrot on a stick or his offer of either a dick in your mouth or a dick in your ass. My brother added a hand job from a leper as an another alternative.

In each of their prolonged NEET-ish lives my siblings have ultimately been disowned by my father. The best thing to happen to them I think. My brother for example, was promised it all, a house, a new car, financial support and then ended up marrying the girl he loved penniless. Sure enough I've been hearing the same promises and now, he's offering ten million dinars instead of the instead of 30% of the profits for the work I've done for the past year or to take a hike.

The sun's come up. Sleep will set in soon.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Beans

It was a long harvest, 30 days long. Thankfully, heavy rains didn't come pouring down till the night of the day we finished. Sure enough, I was on my way back to Baghdad the next day. After doing some quick sums, it looks like our sales of our crops are going to double this year.

Coming back to Baghdad after such a long time at the plantation made me notice a few changes. Such as the traffic is now even more horrendous than before I left. It took me over an hour to drive into my own neighbourhood and to my house the day I arrived.

Od arrived from Lebanon the same day as me to hear that one of his classmates got shot while riding with someone else who seemed to be the target. He also got engaged to what seems as like someone that can cut through his bullshit which is a good thing. Every guy needs a woman like that.

It's very early in the morning now, I'm hungry and I think that Qaddori's opens at 6:30 AM. So I better hurry up this post to get there and eat some beans. One other change that's taken place in Baghdad is the popping up of small take away pizza places. There might be two or three in my neighbourhood. Up until now, nearly all burger/pizza restaurants have had sit-in areas. They still have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the pizza however.

Ever since coming back, I've kept myself busy. During the day I've been getting things done. The first thing I did was go to the phone company to pay my phone bill which for last month was about 160 bucks chargeable to the plantation. The girl that prints out the bill is so cute. She looks like she's in perpetual mourning because she's been wearing black for the three months since I started with my billed line. She was also not wearing any make-up and she doesn't need to because she has pouty lips and rosie cheeks which is something somewhat rare here. She was the first pretty woman I got to see for over a month.

There's something wrong with the SIM cards we get. They've got no theft protection at all. You might know that if you type in the wrong PIN number several times that it'll then stop asking for the PIN number and won't work unless you type in the PUK number. I've learned that the PUK of all 078 numbers is eight zeros, thereby defeating the purpose of the PIN number and there's no way to change the PUK number either.

For a change, I'm not feeling bored. Instead, after coming back, I got swept by a big sensation of loneliness. I guess I've been lonely most of my life and that most of the time I'm just used to it. I'm thinking that as soon as I've cleared up all immediate work related to wrapping up the rice season that I might go take a vacation and see my family back in England.

I'm getting too hungry to continue this post. I'm going to roll myself a joint and go get me some beans.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ba Ba Bored

The harvest is nearly over, we're on the last stretch, about 25 hectares of partially collapsed rice to harvest. The rice collapsed because of its heavy load being blow down by strong winds. No cool crop circles here unfortunately.

Going out to the harvest has become a routine affair. I wake up, get me a bite to eat from Nahida. Call up my advisor and head off to the fields. If the day starts early I come back home for lunch. The day ends after sunset and I drive back home. I watch the movies, animes and series that Nais has loaded onto my portable hard drive, have my dinner and after a couple of joints go to sleep.

That's not to say that it's all routine. A couple of days ago, a farmer protested against letting a second combine harvester into his land. A couple of his relatives then came in and shot at one of my agents. When things go awfully wrong I've got several numbers to call on: my cousin the sheikh, the dude that's in charge of all the government offices in town, his assistant and my dad. But I couldn't get through to any of them.

I took my agent in my car and we headed to the police station who sent us to the court house that then sent us back to the police station with some. We then had to go back to the court house but we needed witnesses to testify. We called on my other agent and the driver of the combine harvester and they didn't come fearful of any repercussions. It was around this time that my cousin got through to me. He told me that I could go back to the harvest, that he'll get the cops to hurry up and that he's sending a guy we know and who is a relative of the shooter and the farmer to the harvest and who he wants me to put on the line when I see him.

I left my agent at his house and went onto the harvest met up with the guy and we were about to listen to the farmer's side of the story but I had to tell him to get rid of the automatic rifle he had slung on his shoulder (My dad once told me that a farmer must not bear arms during the harvest). After we heard his story, I told him off a little more. We held onto his share of the harvest as instructed by my cousin, the purpose of which was to get him to hurry up with resolving the matter.

By the evening of the same day, I visited my cousin to explain to me what will happen. He explained to me that it was agreed that the next day the farmer and members of his family will apologize to the agent as well as myself in each of our homes and pay somekind of compensation fee of nine-hundred thousand dinars to my agent for the bullet shot and six-hundred thousand to me for messing with an agent of mine whilst doing his job, but that it wouldn't be appropriate to take the sum owed to me. My cousin told me that it was important that such things be dealt with as fast as possible and that they'll come to me even though he wouldn't be able to come. I told him I had no clue what the heck to do, so he agreed to postpone their apology to me to the day after so he could attend.

And so today, at ten minutes to two in the afternoon he came to my guest hall and told me about some website on the net to check the weather on and a couple of minutes later the guest hall was filled with about thirty or forty guys as if they had just come off of a bus. My cousin called for tea and explained the actions he took and some other things I didn't understand and then called on the farmer to say hello or 'peace onto you' which he did and was followed by a bunch of the elders some of which I was well acquainted with, others I had just seen around. The whole thing was over within twenty minutes.

That was pretty much the highlight of this year's rice harvest. The rest of it has been well boring. Especially these nights when I get back home.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bad Luck Tapping

Seems as though this time of year can be just plain bad luck for me. Something I'll check by reviewing previous posts.

Last night, somebody tried to get passed the PIN protection on my dad's phone and screwed it up. For no good reason at all, I tried sliding in the my dad's SIM card into my Sony Ericsson phone. Turned on my phone and nothing came on except for a little blink from the infrared thing.

This morning I woke up with a wet dream. The last time that happened it wasn't a wet dream, it was chlamydia. But I haven't slept with any prostitutes in a long time, so there's no chance of that. It's still a nuisance. The strange thing about a wet dream, is that I usually get a chance to wake myself up before it climaxes. This morning I chose not to wake up.

I had to go to Diwaniya this morning. I thought that perhaps there I'd find myself a replacement battery and that would do the job. But there was not a single Sony Ericsson phone in sight. I need a phone for work and I'm not going back to Baghdad for another couple of weeks, so I bought a new Nokia. I don't like Nokias, I don't know how to setup the internet on it and I can't find the blog function.

Driving back to the plantation, I drove over a dirt bump that's supposed to keep people from driving through. They didn't quite make it high enough to stop cars from going over it and I drove over it on my way earlier in the morning. On the way back however, I must've been driving too fast because it hit the car from underneath and when I got home some guys took a look and handed me a piece of plastic telling me this must have fallen off.

It was mid day by then and realising that my luck so far has been very bad, I reluctantly went out to the harvest. Surprisingly, everything went smoothly until we got to the last farmer of the day. That's when my scientific calculator which I've set constants to calculate my share of the harvest.

24 hours have passed now and I should be safe now.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Drugs on the farm?


I've been hearing about a flower that people plant for its nice smell and that is also a drug. This is the first one I've seen. There's a story of a little girl that ate some of these flowers and died. The farmer's could also be pulling my leg.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Day at the Harvest


Why do the people look so small in the picture? There are a lot of these women dressed in black, about thirteen in sight right now. They come and collect the stalks with rice that the combine harvester misses. They collect the stalks in a bag and beat the bag with a stick to thrash the paddy from the stalks.
A few also come to ask for some of the paddy that the combine dumps that the farmer and I split. So we give then about fifteen kilograms from each pile.
There are alot more than there were last year. I thought it was because we had poor crops last year, but I'm told that there women that come from far away places have gathered here because this here is one of the few places that managed to cultivate in spite of the drought.
There was one guy that had been following us since the first day and would walk off at the end of each day with a big bag. It's good to see he's not here today. He got me wondering how much is enough.
Oh no, it's started to rain again. We didn't harvest yesterday because of the rain. It's also started to get cold. I might now need to switch my white summer dishdasha for a winter one.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Harvest will Start

The harvest starts tomorrow. I'm nearly ready and will make an effort to blog from my phone during the harvest. I hope it's not as exciting as the last harvest. I also hope that the farmers don't have much to complain about either. The thing they annoyed me the most about last time regarded getting a 'shovel' (big yellow vehicle with a big scooper in the front). A lot of them got that taken care of after the last harvest. Some will complain that I'm compensating a little less than they expected for the 'shovels'.

After this harvest is through, I'm going to have to start thinking of how I'm going to spend my first twenty million. It's going to totally change the way I think of spending my money. No longer will it be worth my while to spend money on expensive restaurants and the occasionally nasty prostitute. I could try saving my money and travel instead. I'll try to get a job too, but I definitely have to travel even it's to piss in a foreign country and fly right back.

No orn

I haven't wanked in a long time. Having my dad around has made me feel uncomfortable about doing, his room is just across the corridor from mine. He's taken over my room at the plantation and now I'm sleeping the living room and I think it's time I move that bottle of vodka out of sight it's been lying around on a drawer in the corner for a week. I should not be leaving that around for my dad to see. It is a half-bottle of absolute, maybe it doesn't look so suspicious. Let's see, (thinking about wanking) I do need a shower too.

I might as well drink the vodka, there's not much left in it anyway. Never mind, I don't have anymore but I've got plenty to keep me high. Getting high so much is beginning to make me feel I've lost my focus on controlling my life. The good news is that I'm still making the changes I decided I need to make before feeling that I've lost my focus on controlling my life. Maybe I could say that I was in 'boss me' mode and that I'm now in 'do-er me' mode now. Drank the vodka, and the result is that I had so little there's no effect.

This laptop doesn't have any video porn! They got accidentally deleted a while back and I haven't copied anything new. Maybe that's why I haven't been wanking. But back in Baghdad, I've found a bunch of stuff on my old laptop some of which I didn't even know I had. Should have copied some. Porn sites have also lost a great deal of their appeal these days too. I'm definitely wanking tonight no matter what.

I did get turned heavily turned on last weekend though, my dad and I visited some family. That was the most fun I ever had during a family visit, because they Wii at their house. And I got so horny after coming back from their house. They had a very cute sixteen year old daughter. Yes, it's wrong. Fortunately however, she was off my mind the next day and thinking about her now isn't doing anything to me.

Getting a Cut

Autumn started the day of my last post. Ever since the weather hasn't climbed over forty Centigrade. The weather's been lovely ever since. There was one rainy and windy day in the plantation when I was in Baghdad. That day was my birthday. When I came back, portions of the crop had been knocked down by the wind which was a sore sight.

I had a bunch of issues to go through with my dad. One thing that he caught onto quickly enough was that he should play down his authoritarian attitude with me about how things should be done. He now understands that I like to do things differently and that it works. A few days ago, my dad agreed to giving me a portion of the profits. We haggled until we agreed that I get 30% of the profits. That's about 20 million dinars ($16,000) for the last wheat season. I'll also be responsible for paying for my own expenses in Baghdad. The most annoying thing about having my dad around is that he keeps waking me up early in the morning.

Both my father and I are doing better now that we agreed on a cut for myself. He was very apprehensive of the idea at first, but we finally sat down to talk about it he quickly become more receptive. He couldn't sleep that night and the next day after a bad night's sleep he did accuse me of trying to weasel as much money as possible. But after a good rest, he switched to a good mood and now I'm a bit worried that maybe he's figured that he got himself a good deal and that I got ripped off.

Kiki's thinking of coming back. He's still in Malaysia and finally got a job that was passed down to him after the friend he went to Malaysia with flew off to America. He asked if he could stay at my place which of course he's always welcomed to. It would be really nice having him back. It would bring back the spirit of the old times. He was always the one that I was sure to find when I used to visit during summer break when I was living in Lebanon. My ex-neighbour's been here for a month, and Kiki asked if he was staying at his old house. But ex-neighbour is cooped up in grandma's, I told Kiki that he did think about moving back into his old house. It would be great to see the old gang grow back.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wine from a Tea Pot

Woke up with a slight sore throat. Must have not covered myself well last night as well as smoked too much. Yesterday, was my birthday.

After a morning going round the local offices with my dad to distribute gifts, Nahida popped out the cake she had prepared the night before. Dad remarked by the time he was twenty-eight he was already into his second marriage.

From there I drove back to Baghdad, bought some wine and went over to my ex-neighbour's place. Another friend from school showed up a little later and we went out for dinner where we were served wine in cups out of a tea pot!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Clarification on a Point in Previous Post

In my last post I started off with:

How do these people tolerate their miserable lives in this country? Why does it feel like I'm the only one who is so unhappy with things and in other words why can't I find myself a normal girl to sleep with. It's not just that really, but then again it might be just that.
But to clarify, what it is that bothers me is that people men and women don't socialize in public. It's alright for a guy and a girl to phone each other now that there's no risk of any of the parents picking up the phone or chat on the internet. As long as it's out of sight of the judging eye of society.

Why is it that if people see a guy and a girl out together that they have to come to the conclusion that they're dating. It would be nice if I could someday go to a classmate's house, say hi to her parents and go have some lunch or dinner.

What I'm trying to get to is why can't guys hang out with girls just like guys hang out with guys. If a guy sleeps over at another's house it doesn't mean they're going to bum fuck each other, so why shouldn't it be the same when a girl sleeps over. That is an extreme analogy, but it gets to the point.

I don't think it's just society and its judgmental attitude that's to blame. The guys and the girls are to blame too somehow. Guys here in general have a disrespectful attitude towards girls. Girls on the other hand think of themselves as so precious. So precious, that she would only go out with a guy if she was indeed on a date with him, which ultimately supports society's view of a guy and a girl out together.

In the end, you end up with two halves of society that don't take the chance to get to know each other so that they may respect each other on a personal level and not necessarily thing of each other as something to sleep with or marry.

Since I'm a guy, I should defend my camp. It's so hard to have a personal relationship with a girl that when one does finally get to do so with a girl, that girl gets the focus of his urge to procreate. As for the girls, I'd like to see them explain themselves without blaming us guys.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Things That Bother Me With My Life

How do these people tolerate their miserable lives in this country? Why does it feel like I'm the only one who is so unhappy with things and in other words why can't I find myself a normal girl to sleep with. It's not just that really, but then again it might be just that.

My dad's coming in just a few more days. I'm very angry and I'm going to direct most of it at him. Usually he's the one that gets angry at me, but I've got so much anger piled up that I'm not even going to give him the chance to have a go at me. I'll admit there's only myself to blame for letting my life lead me to where I am.

I've never felt so much anger within me. Except for a certain time and that was because I was drugged up. Anger can be utilized as a good motivator.

Ever smelled the wonderful scent of a dead rat? It is horrible! It's worse than the smell of a few days old corpse. That's what the kitchen and the corridor here at my place at the plantation smells of right now. I'm surprised the smell is never followed by that of vomit. That smell is like a bad memory, I mean just remembering it smells bad.

I'm also angry at the government. They make my job so much harder because of their incompetence and bureaucracy and their idiotic methods to stifle fraud. Every single farmer as well as I feel that the government is trying its best to make things harder on us.

For example today, I had to go through about eleven people to get a government document permitting me to purchase new wheat seeds from a mixed sector seed company.

Will continue this later...maybe

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Don't Like Sleeping Pills

Spoke to dad today, just to ask him about his visit's itinerary (he's coming next week). I haven't been speaking to him ever since the wheat harvest. Last month, I spoke to him twice both times ending with me getting very angry and hanging up in his face. Whilst discussing collecting rent for our storage rooms my dad pointed out that our financial status isn't good. This coming from a man that's spent his life saving pennies to accumulate a lump of savings with he prides himself.

The truth is that since I'm in a position to be well aware of what our finances look like. We didn't ride any post-war gravy train like most people. My dad kept doing things like he knows how, making sure he's got a good rate on his saving's account. But the last year or so has been bad. The mill was a failure and he had bought some property in the nineties that it now turns out were sold with forged documents and upon which we had built and another part of sold.

My father's very old and it must be very disappointing for him to see his fortune just slip away towards the twilight of his life. It does however seem that he's taking it quite well. My brother told me he's going to go on a cruise in the Caribbean and to not say he told me. I do feel I have reason to be pissed off at my father for that, considering I had an argument with him the last time he came when I asked for a vacation in Europe and he told me that all we could afford for me was a two-week vacation in a cheap hotel in Lebanon or some other neighbouring country. Then again, it's his money and he's entitled to do whatever he wishes with it.

All my life I've more or less followed what my dad told me to do, except for the many years which I spent getting high at university abroad and he's been covering all my expenses for most of my life and the past year hasn't been an exception. But after working for over a year on the plantation, I've pocketed nothing yet except the nice car he gave me as a 'graduation present' but more for the sake of helping me do my work. If it was up to me, I'd charge the car on the plantation. Actually, that's a good idea. But now my dad's ship is sinking, I think it's time for me to jump off.

I'm going to have to try to have a proper sit down with him and hope he takes me seriously for a change. He should also be aware that I'm ready to start taking care of myself and should have some idea of what he can offer me. I do however, want to clear out a lot of nonsense between us, layout a new framework for our relationship and discuss with him the way I perceive things.

Tomorrow I want to go visit a bunch of government offices, it's past three in the morning now and I haven't slept yet. This is very annoying.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

It's Complicated, Lots of Factors into Play

Earlier I took a Ritalin pill and smoked the last of my hash. My stash ran out a long time ago, but Od's been passing me bits from his share. How long has it been since I've started smoking up regularly again? Maybe six to nine months. I didn't think I'd stay smoking for this long. I wonder if it's affecting me and my life negatively. Maybe it's been good, maybe I needed it. My life has become a great deal more stressful since I graduated from college during which I didn't smoke up. Over the past few months, I've been to a urologist, a dermatologist and a guy dressed up as a cleric that does hijama (blood letting using a vacuum technique), and they all told me I need to chill out.

The plantation's doing well. I'm a bit behind on the accounts which is holding me back from focusing on doing some fixes. One of my two guards who is also a farmer on the lands (and not a good one at that) walked into the living room today with the biggest and stupidest smile. In his hand he was carrying a black plastic bag with some long green leaves sticking out. He pulled out the leaves to display the stalks of rice loaded with grains he picked on his way to show them to me. I guess that it's a very good sign when such stalks of rice appear so early.

I just had a farm idea. And I've jotted it down so I could carry it out later. Just to give an example of what my work is sometimes like I'm going to explain it. First off, we have irrigation canals, which weeds can clog. Therefore during the water intensive rice season we need to keep cleaning the weeds out of the canals. Previously on my plantation, it is expected that each farmer cleans the canals that are adjacent to his plot. My farmers however, don't. So I end up paying for workers to come and do it and then when harvest time comes I'll take grain from the farmer's share in compensation. There are however, segments of the canals that are not adjacent to the plots of any farmers and previously we've paying the bill for those segments ourselves without any compensation from the farmers. This year however, my cousin the local tribal sheikh said that the farmers should bear the cost of these segments too.

Today, I was sitting with the guys that do the cleaning to help me distribute accordingly, the costs of all the irrigation canals on the farmer's list on my super duper excel worksheet. And it has just occurred to me, that I've had to distribute the cost of a long segment of canal cleaning to a relatively small handful of farmers in one area that aren't doing so well (some of them are lousy farmers and their new water pump got installed late). I'm thinking it's not very fair on them to pay so much, so what the new 'farm idea' is to make them pay no more than the highest average for any other area and I'll accept to pay the remainder. I just need to see how the numbers look when I get around to it.

Anyway, I'm fed up with the plantation. I've been spending so much time scheming lately on ways to get out of here. It's like my own little quagmire and I need to work on my exit strategy. I need to get this plantation performing properly as well as give my life a new direction all of which seems unfathomably complicated right now.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nearly Everyone Else's Eid

I woke up very early this morning, opened up Facebook and everyone was Happy Eiding everyone else. I was so happy, all I had to do was take a shower, shave and get ready for the arrival of a bunch of kids to come to the mudheef and to hand them out candy. And then around lunchtime I'd make my getaway to Baghdad and enjoy some festivities.

Come seven in the morning, and the date evaluators are in the mudheef waiting on me to come out so that we can finish off the date evaluation of each farmer which we had planned to finish after Eid if Eid was tomorrow. So while nearly everyone else is celebrating, the guys down here are celebrating it tomorrow. Which means that I'm down here for an extra day and I'm missing out on another day of Eid.

Yesterday, we went to Karbala for dinner. It was cloudy, maybe it will rain this winter which would be so good as long as it doesn't rain during the harvest which isn't for another couple of months. When we got to the restaurant, Durra al Nasrawi (or something like that), which was quite good the guy at the door recognized Fozzy and Nahida. It turned out he was the guy that lived and guarded the house opposite our own. It was surprising so much affection exchanged between the two at this random encounter considering I think they found him annoying at the time he used to live on our street. But in retrospect he was a lot simpler than the new people that moved in.

I'm quite fed up with my workload at the plantation. The amount of accounts that I have to do is ridiculous. Data inputting what each of over 150 farmers has received in terms of seeds, fertilizers, plastic pipes (which they end up tossing away anyway), cost of land repairs, cost of canal cleaning (the last two of which I haven't done yet). Then there's categorizing all the costs of which there are plenty such as operating, fixing the water pumps, diesel, handling the seeds, costs of selling the yield, administrative costs, fixing things such as step-down transformers.

There's also the adding up all the rehabilitation projects, such as building a bridge or installing a new water pump, of which I have to pay back my dad a third from the profits I make from the land I'm supposedly renting from my uncle and from which I have yet to pocket anything. But I do spend freely from my dad's money. I think my dad's going to try to cut me off next time he visits and so I'm trying my best to spend as much money as possible while I still can.

I'm going to get a Visa debit card to buy myself a Blackberry. But unluckily, Iraq's government has decided to impose duties on imports as well as on stuff that's sent through DHL and the likes. They're even trying to take duties on books from people arriving at the airport.

From what I hear the government's trying its best to mess with the work of parcel courier businesses. Something about trying to get a state enterprise to monopolize the handling of all stuff flying in and out of the country, so for example, I go to DHL give them a parcel, they then have to hand it to the state enterprise that will then fly it off to a neighbouring country from which DHL will then take back the parcel and take it where it's supposed to go. As inefficient and ineffective as state enterprises are, you can only imagine how bad it can get and how late and how lost your stuff will get.

So right now, I'm hoping a friend of mine who would also like to buy a Blackberry to see if his boss will allow him to use his APO (US military) mailing address to circumvent the whole problem. Leaving me to hope his boss doesn't take them for himself. (Quick edit: Just checked and online shops don't mail electronics to APO addresses, not only them, but Play.com (UK) don't mail electronics abroad either, for security reasons! That leaves me only one option: Western Union some money to mum and have her buy it online for me because the high street only sells them on contracts.)

I read the preview section of a book about Iraq's economy in the thirties through to the fifties on Google the other day. It looks like a good read, but for $190 bucks, I'm not so sure. It does a great job describing British attempts to control the economy and how hopeless the Iraqis are at running things on their own. I've got to get myself these history books one day. It really does help make sense of everything of what is going on today. Because at the end of the day it all begins to seem like one big re-run, leaving one to wonder if it can all work out right this time.

Od and I were hoping that things will get better by the time we graduate, and in some aspects they have such as in security and the availability of prostitutes. Though I'm still trying to regain the stupidity of giving it another go after my previous bad experiences with them. I told Od that next time we have to insist on some quality. Then there's the availability of hash which is good too, it certainly does help. But I much prefer grass. Hash satisifies the urge but isn't so pleasurable.

But on the other hand, it seems that the more the government gains its own say on the way things should be run, the more likely it is to screw up. The aforementioned parcel service nonsense or the big idea to censor the internet 'for state security' for example. Sounds like you'll soon get in jail for saying 'down with the government'. With their attempts to practice censorship, they step right into the scenario where moderate reformists are silenced and radical extremist's wills are strengthened, something which should be obvious. But then again, it's all good for those in power even though the people will suffer.

I don't know why I'm becoming pessimistic all of a sudden. I've always thought that as long as some democracy existed there will be hope for things to get better, but it does seem that those in power are trying to burn the bridge for change...

I had a good idea of exactly what I wanted to say next but Nahida brought me dinner. It was something like: Why can't this country gain sovereignty without shooting itself in the foot?

I know it's not me to talk of politics but does anyone see any sign of improvement in writing? I've been practicing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Oohh Humbug

It's Ramadan again. I just noticed that the visitors to my blog have doubled. Seems that if you google: "i hate ramadan", my post with the same title is the first result on the list. I read that post today and I ought to make one correction: when I go to a restaurant with my friends who are fasting, I get the impression that I'm the hungriest one among them.

This year is completely different from last year's however. Where as last year people were smoking, drinking and even eating at restaurants on the sidewalk. This year the government has done a 360, making all the above outlawed.

Not everybody fasts! These days the weather is very hot. There plenty of old people that don't. There are also those that are sick. What's a person coming from a province and needs to do some kind of medical test supposed to do when the doctor tells him or her that he or she needs to drink or eat something.

Restaurants aren't allowed to serve food during daylight hours and they can't even give out take-aways till after three in the afternoon according to a friend of mine who was desperate for some lunch. Before the war, it wasn't allowed to do so and so in public too, but at least the restaurants were allowed to stay open as long as people on the street can't see the customers eat.

It's as though the government is imitating the Taliban. The government also wants to block internet porn too. It's not going well at all. On the bright side, the government does seem a great deal whimsical and Ramadan next year will probably be a different deal altogether again.

Why does it seem like I'm the only one hating Ramadan on the net? I don't mind if the whole world went fasting on Ramadan honestly, it might be a little inconvenient but there's no reason why I or anyone else should have to starve too.

---added later---

I wrote this post without actually seeing with everything with my own eyes. Now I'm back from Baghdad and most of it is kind of true. I later found a neighbourhood with a bunch of restaurants open. So it seems the rules have been applied more leniently in some parts. When buying Kanafa from one of the local sweet shops, I was told that the least I can order is half a kilo until futoor and that otherwise it would create a hassle for the shop.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Big Plan

Need to learn to write faster and where else to do it but here on my blog. I ought to plan that which I want to write. Skipping that stage this time, or maybe I could come up with something to talk about.

I've been extremely lazy today. I didn't even go out of the house. I'm having trouble with the 'E' key on my keyboard. It's driving me nuts. I just slipped a tiny piece of cardboard paper under the letter and it now works well. Good things do happen after all.

I've got enough hash to make one last joint. Will smoke it as soon as I'm done with this post. Was supposed to go back to Baghdad today. Perhaps I'll go tomorrow. I need to take Nahida back there to get food.

I should've signed out my messengers before starting this.

Life's been quite good of late. Not very sure why, but I get the impression that it has been. I'm very behind on work, but I'm beginning to have some perspective on my life. I'm still getting my act together, and I'm making progress. My actions are goal-orientated now.

I'm not sure if I've gone over this already or not, but the big plan for me is that in a year. The time required of me at the plantation should be so minimal that I'd have the free time to get a job. I have no idea what kind of job, but a job is what I want.

To not be here at the plantation full-time. I'd first have to set up a well-structured management. Put to practice the things I learned at college. But before all that can happen I still need to sort myself out, which I'm doing at my own pace.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Music for the Death


'I WANT TO SEE YOU BLEEEEED!!!'

I'm at a death metal concert. I don't listen to this stuff. Still fun.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Bloody Pincher


This is my toilet at the plantation. There was a crack on the seat that used to pinch my bum as i'd try to get up. I then fixed it by stuffing in tissues. Eventually we got it replaced (it's the one in the pic, see the crack?). It took less than a week to crack too. Ended up stuffing tissues again. A few days ago, i realized that I hadn't been stuffing tissues and haven't been getting pinched either. Until today, it pinched my buttcheek so hard I bled.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

4:35 AM

It's rather nice being so awake at night, as well as a little high. I'm going back to Baghdad tomorrow, in a couple of hours actually. I've been sleeping throughout the mornings these days, a great way to avoid people. I have toured the plantation a few times in the evenings. Spending my time listening to everyone and giving some words of encouragement. I'm no longer getting myself caught up in all the little details and it's working out. Sometimes things don't work-out quite right but I'm learning to keep my cool about it.

I've been reading up on how to get organized and it's going well. I bought a bunch of files and sorted about half of the paperwork I have scattered on my desk and in my cupboard and briefcase. I'm still being productive. Fozzy and me did a rough draft of the profit and loss of the rice mill that my dad insisted on setting up last year. It turned a loss of about nine million dinars and that's not including the massive cost of setting it up.

We finally got checks for the sale of wheat. It's only half of the sum and is at least a month overdue during which time the plantation has accumulated a lot of debts. When Fozzy went to cash them at the bank, the bank manager said told him that there's a new rule that said only the person whose name is on the wheat check can cash it in. Our checks have my dad's name on them and he's not coming till autumn.

The rule, a result of a guy with his check who walked in with his son to withdraw the cash. The son took the cash and the dad then came back later asking for his money. A bank employee had to be fired too. The banking system has a long way to go.

So after catching up on what's going on with the crops, I've realised that we need to get the water pumps working as much as possible these days which means getting diesel which for me is a very good reason to head back to Baghdad to pick up some cash from the bank and come back the next day. Then Fozzy and Nahida brought it to my attention that if I don't wait till Sunday I'd lose out on a million and a half dinars of interest. I'm still going tomorrow (about 2 hours from now).

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's been five weeks since I ran away from the plantation and now I'm back. I haven't yet seen a single farmer nor I have dressed up in my dishdasha and head gear yet. I can't imagine having arrived without anyone noticing so I suspect that some farmers will be coming in an hour or two.

Fozzy and Nahida have been here in charge of things all this time. A month without Nahida has been great. They seem quite well. Fozzy didn't get sick this whole time which is a miracle. The crops they tell me are looking good. Fozzy told me that the farmers have been asking him in whispers when will I return.

Fozzy and Nahida are giving me the impression that all's well. But I'm finding that hard to believe. I'm still trying to expect the worst. This now is supposed to be the least busiest of times of year for the plantation. So whatever went wrong went wrong and that's that.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

what was i thinking?

hello me! i do from time to time read my own blog and often find things i've forgotten. i've moved my 32" LCD television to my room and have hooked up my laptop to it to watch movies and cartoons since my bedroom is the only air-conditioned room in the house.

i should be excited, i've had enough of living in baghdad and being with the plantation. inside i feel i'm ready to move on. what i need to do is sort out a whole bunch of things over the year ahead and get myself a new life. i've put off the idea of getting married for three or four years. i should be excited but right now, i don't feel at all excited.

tv in the room is cool.

Monday, July 06, 2009

I'm in Erbil again. Drove here with my car. It was the longest drive of my life, I was told it takes five hours to get here but it ended up taking eight hours because of the dust storm. The weather was alright until we got onto the highway and just before entering Erbil the weather cleared up again.

The roads here are quite different from those in Baghdad, I don't think I've seen a single pot hole yet. I'm trying to learn my way around since I have my car with me, luckily it's not such a big city and they have a few circular roads which means you'll end up where you want to get to eventually.

Everytime I come here, I think of how nice it would be to move here. Over the past two weeks I've been trying to think of a farm exit strategy. I can't go on working and living on the plantation forever. It seems like it isn't too hard to find a job here or perhaps I could continue my studies.

So far I'm thinking that I need to delegate the day to day work and go see them every weekend. That leaves me to focus on the more fundamental issue of sorting out ownership of the land which is a mess, the land is composed of many plots and ownerships of each plot is shared between my uncles and aunts. Sorting the legal side and then physically re-organizing the land will take a long time.

Truth is that I've had it with the plantation. It's a horrible horrible place to be. Ever since I left it two or three weeks ago, I've been avoiding all calls from the there leaving Fozzy and Nahida to take care of everything over there.

As soon as I get to Baghdad I'm going to finish smoking whatever hash I have left and go back to the plantation and start shaking things up or fall flat on my face.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sports are Unhealthy

The tennis ball hit my eye and I wasn't high.

--
Sent from Gmail for mobile | mobile.google.com

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Half an Hour

3:20 AM... still awake. Slept too much today, paying the cost with boring night hours. Here at the farm I'm feeling a great deal clueless. Everything seems to be taken care of and is going just a little behind schedule. The only serious problem we're facing is a lack of liquidity. I think the wheat prices are out and are as were hoped.

Would very much like to go back to Baghdad and see Smoky. Tomorrow I've got to go plastic pipes to distribute to the farmers to regulate their irrigation. See the farmers to show some support for the guys whose responsibility is the irrigation management. Should also resolve some issue with a cranky farmer that wants to remove some excess dirt from his borders.

Why are the widths of the pipes in inches and the lengths in meters?

Looking at the quantities we've moved to the government silos and the announced prices, I should be expecting sales of a little less than two hundred million dinars. That sounds like a lot. Last rice season's sales were about a hundred and fifty million and profits only came up to a fraction of that. Wheat should be better since it incurs less expenses. That said, I've spent so much money on fixing up the farm and added an electric generator, that it looks like I've yet to see the day I get to pocket some profit.

Dad's still expecting me to do the accounts for the work we've done with the rice mill. I'm seeing myself as unable to do them here at the farm because of all the distractions, where as in Baghdad I'd be stoned and I can never get anything done stoned. But right now, I think I'm better off going to Baghdad to do them.

I was sick before going to Baghdad and then I got high and then well and then I came back and now I'm sick again with a sore throat, a bit of a cold and feeling like poo.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hickey

I got back to the farm today. My three days of getting high are over, I left the stuff at home in Baghdad. Od's squirming since I didn't leave him any. He finally got himself a residence somewhere outside of Baghdad. He's just going to have to hope that we meet up in Baghdad some day soon.

Yesterday, Nahida's nephew took us to some guy that sucks out blood from one's back. It's supposed to be a very old sort of alternative healing called 'hijama'. Nahida went in saying I had back pains, which I don't really have these days, but it's true that I can't touch my toes. Need to stretch. High as I was, I just went along. The guy, who we'd call 'Sheikh' (as in a religious cleric), asked me where the pain was on a poster of the human body and I pointed at the lower back region. He lied me down on my side and shaved the area he was going to work on (I got a hairy back). He then pricked the area that he was going to suck from with a needle and placed a cup on the area all whilst reciting prayers and blowing on the area. From what I know is that they usually have put inside a candle or something to create a vacuum to suck the blood out, this guy however had a plunger thing with his cup with which he could just pull and create his vacuum at will.

Nahida wasn't at all impressed with the cleric and showed it which led the cleric to go through all sorts of nonsense to convince her. For example, that like women who menstruate their bad blood, men too have bad blood that needs to be ridden of and that it accumulates in the back. He'd show us the blood after it had been extracted and it'd look like a big lump though it was sucked out of the little pin pricks that he had made. Oh and after we were done with everything Nahida who is uncomfortable with me smoking up asked him if he could help chilling me out. So the guy told me to stare into his eye and then he grabbed my head for a moment and said I was okay. I was high.

My dad just called asking for the accounts. He's worse than the tax man. Well I'm now left with a big round hickey in the middle of my lower back and tomorrow I'm going to get myself working again.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Got it :)

(there was a picture here of some hash, rizlas and Smoky)

Yesterday afternoon I realised that I wasn't feeling so well and that my presence at the farm wasn't vital. So i drove back up to Baghdad. And today I've scored some stuff. I feel so much better now. My friend that got me the stuff even made me a sweet pipe and that by pure coincidence has Smoky printed on it.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Still About-ish

Just over a month has passed since my last post. Seems the posts are getting further and further apart. Got myself my one bottle of beer here at the farm. Having trouble sleeping, so I guessed I might as well slap me a post up on here.

I finished the wheat harvest a couple of weeks ago. Just like the rice harvest it involves visiting every single farmer and splitting each share. Even though it took less than the rice harvest it was still quite an ordeal to get through. On some days I'd get back home at one in the morning.



Starting from the left in this picture we've got my adviser and the guy that calculates how to split my share from the farmer's share, he's not to be trusted and often doesn't give me the full story on things. Then behind him we have the local alcoholic that puts his whole family to shame. Then there's this annoying guy, he thinks he knows his thing and I thought that perhaps he did, that's until I saw him mix two varieties of rice in the same field. And then there's the old timer who is always asking for a new dishdasha, this season he made the most wheat per area, which was really cool.

All in all it was a good harvest. It was a good season for all, my lands however, weren't as great as others which was my fault because I didn't time the fertilizer distribution early enough. I had to admit my mistake to all the farmers and they in turn were quite forgiving.

One day during the harvest there was a big fire in the agrarian reform lands in land. That day was the worst of all. I was sitting with my bunch and we could see the smoke and hear the bullets signaling, but everyone around me seemed all cool about it until about an hour later somebody pointed out that it wasn't so far from my land.


The better pictures of the fire got corrupted somehow.

The thing about wheat is that it burns and spreads very quickly. All the land that had caught on fire had been harvested but it could have spread onto my unharvested lands had the people and firemen not have made a huge concerted effort to stop it. And most important and fortunate of all nobody got hurt.

One day, I had to finally confront the scariest of all my farmers "the professional criminal". I hadn't had to deal with this guy up until now simply because he was in jail ever since I came to take over the farm. That day, he seemed all ready for a confrontation carrying a gun in a holster regarding some expenses before my arrival that he felt that I should share the burden of. Within seconds, I got him to chill out, eventually met him half way on the expenses and now I'm his friend. Here's him with his grandson.



Up until the harvest my own morale was pretty low, but I was surprised to find the farmers encouraging me and telling me that I've been doing a good job. I had a chat with one of the best farmers I have and from our conversation he told me that he in the time I've been here I've come to understand as much as my uncle and my dad took years to learn.

And talking to one of the guys that is in charge of tilling the land today, I'm told that the farmers are paying more attention to the tilling than usual suggesting that they too are more enthusiastic about the season to come.

There remains one massive gloomy cloud hanging over the parade though, and that's the country's massive water shortage. The government's giving no guarantees that they'll get the water flowing. Chatting to a guy today, it seems to hang on whether the government will be willing to give Turkey a cut of the oil in exchange for water. I don't know for sure if that's the truth but if it is I hope that they concede. Otherwise, it would be really stupid of the government to keep all the farmers holding their breath and spending money on the hope that there'll be enough water for water-thirsty rice instead of just calling the rice season off this year at the appropriate time which has more or less already passed.

That's pretty much, I've typed more than I had planned to. Aside from the farm and the accounts that are still piling up that's not much left to my life. When I went to Baghdad for the a few days after the harvest, I got a little depressed because there was nothing there for me to do. Even my buddies all seemed to be too busy to hang out.

I ended up spending a couple of late afternoons at a family funeral getting to know some relatives, one of which keeps stressing to me that it's great to be working at the farm but not to waste away my life there. One night I took a cousin of mine out to one of those dodgy nightclubs which was pretty fun, I danced a little with the prostitutes and ended up leaving when the cops arrived but I didn't understand what the deal was up with that. On the way back home it turned out there was a midnight curfew but I still managed to get home.

Shepherd people come to the land during the harvest to let their animals feed off the land after it has been harvested and I got a picture with a camel that belongs to one that I'm so happy about. It was the first time I ever came up close with one and it was so cool. The camel was really friendly and was playing around with my headgear whilst I was trying to get one of the workers to operate my camera phone. I'll try to upload some pics of the harvest sometime soon. There got it!



I really should get to sleep now, the workers are coming in four hours to load up the wheat into the truck to be taken to the government silo which is purchasing wheat this year without declaring the price at which it will buy. I'm loving this government.

I got to stop sleeping during the afternoons, staying up so late is not good.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


This toilet here smells bad, this particular one not as bad as most. My own method to deal with the stink is to breathe through a lit cigarette.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The OverFlusher



Here we go with the first toilet. The missing seat is something that's quite common. I've used this toilet on a couple of occasions before to take a pee. It's all good until I flush and the water just flows out in such force that it just slightly overflows over the edges. Now that's not so bad when all one's done is take a leak, but it would be scary scary if one's to take a dump.

Toilets

India once pointed out that Iraqis have no love for their toilets and it's so true. I'm going to start taking pictures of toilets with my mobile phone to document their dire state. Much better than photos of booze.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Footie

Wow, I haven't felt so free to feel so lazy in a long time. This is kind of nice. I still haven't started doing the accounts and I don't really care right now.

Work in the farm's getting a little fun. I had personally dealt with my first tiny conflict resolution, if that's the right term. A bunch of teenagers that were playing in an uncultivated plot of land and were told to piss off by the farmer living near the plot. So the kids came to me asking for my permission to play there. I told them that I don't see any problem with it and that they should be allowed to play. The next day I headed over there, found the kids all gathered up on the road complaining that the farmer living by hadn't let them play and that they were cursed at. That they were cursed at I told them is no big deal since they're kids and that the matter at hand was whether they should be allowed to play or not.

Accompanied by the adviser that my dad had assigned to me, I went to the plot and was greeted courteously by the farmer that hadn't been letting the kids play. They explained to me that the women of the household couldn't hang around the house at their ease because of the presence of the boys playing football. Women here hide whenever there are men around, it does get a bit silly if you're not used to the idea, but here it's a fair argument. We drank tea and then left them and insisted that they not follow us to the street where the boys were at. On the way to the street, my adviser explained to me that that family were they themselves troublemakers.

Back to the boys, my adviser explained to them that for the sake of avoiding any trouble that it they weren't allowed to play there and that there was another field that they could play in by the river. Then I told them off for not telling me about the inconvenience for the women of the household and that I'll try to find them another place to play.

Today, I think I came up with a good idea, but I've still got to present to my dad and hope he accepts. There's a plot next to my rice mill that at one time was supposed to be an orchard, but everything but all that's left are a bunch of scattered palm trees. If I could turn that into a full-sized football pitch and set up a little kiosk to sell soft drinks next to it. I could get the guy working the kiosk to collect 10,000 dinars (8 bucks) from the kids for 2 hours use of the football pitch. If they were to play just once a day for a month that would make over 300 bucks a month. I would make enough money to cover whatever expenses in a matter of months and then with the remaining profits I could set up lighting and pocket a bunch of cash.

My adviser told me that my dad had once wanted to make a football pitch for the kids once too but that the local elders were against saying it would cause trouble. But perhaps my dad might be convinced by the prospect of profits. In the meantime, I've had kids come to me asking me for a place to play football and I'm telling them I'm looking into it but it seems there's a rumor that I'm going to make one according to Nahida who spoke to one of them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Eating Lots of Halloumi

I've been having trouble with my internet connections which is why I haven't been able to post (that and simple procrastination). At home in Baghdad, my wireless access point stopped working so I went out and bought another one which then after a week broke down too. My internet here at the farm isn't doing so great either, virtually impossible to load a page of porn.

My dad finally left a few days ago which is a relief. He has managed to leave me with an incredible mess to deal with. I've got about 3 months of accounts that I need to start working on and it's still just piling on. Got a couple of brothers that have built themselves fancy homes on our land that I must either get them to agree to sign a rent contract or otherwise we'll have to take them to court. Right now, I'm now in the middle of re-routing a bunch of irrigation canals which is costing plenty.

I did go back to the doctor after finishing my prescription and after some persistence on my behalf I got him to tell me what the heck was wrong with me... Yes! I am stupid to have had unprotected sex with a prostitute... I contracted chlamydia from the woman. The doctor gave me a bunch more antibiotics, some pills to treat the 'sand' in my pee (an early sign of kidney stones) and told me not to worry and to come back in a month. I've got to insist on getting a culture test next time to make sure it's gone.

Come to think of it, my life's getting extremely boring. Work's keeping me occupied, but there's no fun to be had. On Fridays I usually head back to Baghdad and catch up with Od, we get drunk and go out in search for food hoping for something new but end up with the usual pizza or burger. I think I've played a part into turning him into an alcoholic. He didn't used to drink until I left that stash of booze at his house during my dad's last visit.

One day, Od got his hands on a tiny bit of hash the other day. We smoked a joint from it on his roof. The sun was quite warm that afternoon and the hash was rather good. There's definitely something nice about getting high in the sun and it's strange how I feel more comfortable with myself when I'm high and I'm not so grumpy either (something my dad thinks is a result of sexual frustration). If only I could get things done whilst high, but I can't.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Prostate's Good

Last night, I spoke to my dad's friend who has a hospital and asked him for a urologist. He told me to go to his hospital today. I got there at nine in the morning and he had already left. Over the phone the doctor told me to come to his clinic on the other side of Baghdad but a couple hours later I figured that I didn't have the time to go all the way over there. So I headed to a local street where lots of doctors are to be found and picked the first urologist I found. His sign was new, so I guessed that he probably was a doctor that returned as a result of the improved situation. In his office he still hadn't finished hanging all his plaques.

I explained to him that my penis was leaking something watery and he asked me if I had been 'naughty'. I told him I had 7 weeks ago. He then got me on the bed, felt around my tummy, took a look at my willy and gave it a painful squeeze. Then he told me to turn over, so I lied down on my tummy but he wanted me to lift myself on my elbows. That's when I saw him put some cream on his glove. He told me to look forward and he inserted his finger into my bum. He asked me if I felt something was pushing out and yes it did feel so. My prostate's good he said. He then gave me a piece of paper to take to the lab to get a urine test and if necessary cultures.

Walking down from his office I spotted a friend from college. He asked me how I was doing, I told him I got fingered! It then turns out that the doctor was his dad who had been abroad and was suffering from cancer, but is now nearly recovered. I did my pipi test and didn't end up having to do any cultures. The doctor prescribed me some antibiotics and told me to come back in ten days. And I've got no idea what's wrong with me.

Oh no! I'm on antibiotics which means I can't drink up anymore! Good thing I got well wasted last night.

Later this evening, my dad took me to that 'lady of society' that I've mentioned before. She had found me a 'suitable' woman and we were all invited at her house. The girl was not especially pretty and certainly didn't know how to do her hair nor how to dress in this century. I spoke to the lady outside and told her that she looks a bit heavy to which she responded with you can't have it all good to which I replied that I worry about my back. It went pretty well, dad kept his cool for once and didn't bring up the 'marriage' subject out loud. The evening passed and I didn't exchange a single word with her, but I still had fun conversing with everyone else present.

On the way back home, dad insisted on giving his opinion and that included the fact that the girl was nearly two years older than me which I guess explained why he didn't jump the gun this time. I'm ready to give up on my dad's help now. I'm thinking I'm better off focusing on my work for the mean time and then make a drastic life change so I can meet more women.

Friday, March 27, 2009

In abu nawas


Arrived in Baghdad a few hours ago and now sitting with od in an abu nawas 'cabaret' thing: has an iraqi band with the speakers playing very loud, an all-male clientele and a small bunch of female iraqi dancers.
I just had the most excruciating whizz of my life by the river. The pain from my kidneys was incredible. I've been having trouble with my willy for the past couple of days, it's constantly leaking. I didn't find any labs open earlier with od but tomorrow i'm going to see if i can find a willy doctor at my dad's friend's hospital.
Od says it sucks for the iraqis not in iraq.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

No Power and maybe No Water

Hello! It's been a long time since I've done this. Not much point in starting since I don't have much battery charge left in the laptop and the generator here in Shamiya isn't working. Both generators don't work actually. The house generator and the rice mill generator. Should get a new mill generator tomorrow but still need to shop for one for the house.

My dad's still here in Iraq, but yesterday I left him behind in Baghdad since he had some work to do there. It's the first time I'm away from him since he arrived and I slept so well last night. I dreamed of a blond with the most amazing naked body asking me why was I having trouble getting it up.

Whilst working on some paper work, my dad introduced me to the niece of the managing director of the government office we were at. That was about ten days ago, and up until a couple of days the girl would insist that we talk every night on the phone. I'd be barely awake and talk with her for a rather boring hour. [power cut..] Just spoke to her now though. Now I told dad that after speaking to her that she's not right for me, and he told me that I have to break it off with her, but I just don't know how to without hurting her feelings. I know, it's better to deal with it sooner than later, but I do keep throwing suggestions that I'm not interested.

I'm a little wasted on Tequila now, and have just had some dinner: a chicken stuffed pastry thing and some imported Turkish doner kebab. There's a severe water shortage apparently, and because of it we might not be allowed to grow rice in the next season. Fozzy tells me heard that Iraq might strike a deal with Turkey for water in exchange for 5% of Iraq's oil production. My dad tells me that the Turk's argument for not giving us more water is that as long as water is flowing from Iraq into the sea that Iraq then has no right to ask for more water.

That's it, I'm going to hit the sack.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Radio

Dad arrived a week ago, and mum's on her way tomorrow. Dad and I are traveling to the farm tomorrow. I don't know what's come over me, I'm feeling very anti-social these days. I don't have that urge to call anyone in moments of boredom. My dad brought me an iTrip and whilst I was trying to figure how it works with my old radio I discovered that I can pick up the British Forces FM radio channel which is great. I've been listening to it in the car and in my bedroom. I threw the iTrip in my backpack and haven't used it yet. No BFBS radio at the farm though, maybe I should make an FM radio station with my iPod there.

Dad's surprisingly calmer than his usual self and is making me look like the one with the temper. But to be true, my temper has been awful of late. It's been pissing me off so much that every time I bring up the subject of a holiday, my dad comes up with lines suggesting me to forget about it. He's happy with the work I've done, but still is super critical of everything I do. He won't stop correcting my Arabic which is so annoying when he does it. He disapproves of my use of words like 'Okay' when talking to the folks at the farm and was surprised to hear it from a farmer over the phone and figures that the farmer must have learned it from me.

Dad's looking forward to cutting off my umbilical cord. It's the beginning of the end for me. Before I know it, I won't be able to dig my hands for cash into dad's big pockets. I might have to watch my spending. Haven't done that since I was fourteen. No point in worrying about it now. I just hope that I manage to make this plantation turn a proper profit and sustain it. I'm expecting it'll take me two or three more years to get it in order. The strange thing is that the years are passing by faster and faster.

I had doner kebab imported from Turkey for dinner today. It was quite nice, but really heavy on the tummy. Earlier, I was with dad at a woman's house in Zayouna. The woman is some sort of old school high society lady, and she's going to help my dad find me a wife. She was a very nice lady, and she seems to know how it works very well. She told dad that all the 'girls' from the 'good' families have left the country. For a definition of what 'good' family means as far as my dad is concerned, it generally means any family that was considered upper crust back in the day of the kingdom of Iraq. After she said that, I just kept going: "I told you so" to my dad. She also re-iterated the obvious, that any girl abroad would not consider coming back. She said she'll still do her best anyway.

Towards the end of our afternoon with the lady, she mentioned a girl in Dubai that might be suitable and asked whether if it were possible that I come to Dubai for a week, dad said sure. I needed to get up to pee or slip out for a smoke and as I walking out of the room, the lady told my dad that the girl had ditched the last guy because it turned out he was a pothead.

I need to go to sleep, otherwise, I'll be extra cranky tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sasoush and Nanoush

Got two things to do: type in some mill accounts and write this post. The power went out so I'm writing the post while I still have some battery charge left. I think I need to buy a new laptop battery or perhaps a new laptop altogether, but I bought this one only six or seven months ago.

Last week, I told Nahida that I was going to bring some prostitutes over to the house one night so that she tidies up the house. Surprisingly she didn't make too much of a fuss about it. So I then called up Sid to arrange them. We shopped for booze and snacks whilst waiting for them. They arrived in a car with a driver, which we followed into a street off the main road for them to get in. I was paranoid that a checkpoint might stop us on the way to my house and ask us what the girls were to us.

They looked alright, were well dressed by local standards. By local standards I would imagine they were great. A little overweight for my taste. We sat ourselves down in the living room, the Nanoush and Sasoush drank their whiskey whilst Sid and I drank vodka. Earlier in the day I had made the mistake of getting drunk at the club whilst waiting for something to happen and wasn't very much in the mood to get wasted anymore. Sid had been drinking vodka the night before and had the runs but managed to hold it in the whole night. Nanoush sat beside me and we cuddled and watched Iraqi music videos on the tellie whilst Sasoush and Sid conversed about stuff that I didn't understand.

Sasoush was in matter of fact the 'madame' and she had just recently come back from Syria and was talking of being back in the business. She's also a professional dancer and brings her girls over to parties. And looking at those Iraqi music videos with guys singing surrounded by ten girls dancing that it somehow made sense that the world depicted in these music videos weren't so unreal and that they did in fact exist and that Sasoush was part of it.

Sasoush was indeed a character, she had a lot of self-esteem and confidence but later on in the night (at around three in the morning) she did speak of her biggest weakness that of love. How to deal with love in her business was not easy. Should she fall in love with one of her customers, she wouldn't be able to charge him and she herself would be distracted from work; all for some guy that probably doesn't love her back. I think that was general idea.

Nanoush, on the other hand, wasn't so talkative, luckily for me because I'm not much the conversationalist. She didn't seem to have the flair that Sasoush had and seemed to rely on the cute and funny persona, which was all the better for me. When I got into bed with her I spotted a scar on her tummy and she explained to me that it was a casearian. Both Sasoush and Nanoush had kids and were divorced.

Coucher aver Nanoush etait une mauvais experience, chaque des trois fois que j'ai dormi avec elle j'ai fini en quelques minutes. La permiere fois je me suis pas rends condu que sa chatte etait seche, la deuxieme et troisieme fois cela m'etait tres evident. Comment faire mouille une pute, j'y sais pas. Elle etait plus lourde que j'y avais imagine et j'ai foutu mon dos. Jusqu'a ce jour ca me fais mal. Note a moi-meme: la prochaine fois, ne me jete pas au sex et apprends comment entrer mon bit.

It wasn't until four in the morning that Sasoush finally went into bed with Sid at which point I went to sleep. I don't know if she kept talking or if they actually did do it or not. They claim they did the next morning. Nanoush took all the remaining snacks with her and we dropped them off on the main street. Sid had foretold me that the girls would try to get my number and whatever to keep us as customers because we paid well, but after doing it with Nanoush she completely gave up and I don't know if I should be relieved or not.

All in all, it was a lousy experience, but an experience none the less, better than everyday life. I was considering making this a regular thing before that night, but that morning I was just so relieve to be getting rid of them. Maybe it's just like wanking, you nearly always regret it after doing it and you end up doing it again anyway. Sid did explain that a lot of guys that get whores don't actually get them for the sex but for the company and I can see the sense of that now.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Use It and Lose It

One in the morning tequila drinking must bring out the best of one. Having a wonderful day, started the day alright. Fozzy found dad's savings book to take to the bank. Drove out of the garage, forgot to take some cash in my pocket, so drove back through the driveway and picked cash up. Back on the street, crowds of people, mostly women wearing their black abayas walking towards town. Had to drive ever so slowly till at some point Fozzy explained that they were visiting a local imam's grave and another driver told us the road was blocked off ahead so I had to drive back home and delay everything till tomorrow. Later dad calls, asking me what had I done and so on. I explained that the road was blocked off, he responds by saying: "you could walk to town"... I just drew a blank and tried not to say anything, except that the government offices are probably closed too.

So I spent the day at home, with nothing much to do except enjoy an overwhelming sensation of laziness overcome me. I did however manage to get some expenses typed into the computer and plan out my second distribution of fertilizers for this season's wheat crop.

Had spaghetti and meatballs. Nahida screwed up by bringing the jar of pizza sauce instead of the jar of pasta sauce. Why doesn't she read the labels on the jars is beyond me.

Whilst online, Suzy told me she hated me. She, by the way, is in Turkey applying for immigration to Australia. In her defence, I have been somewhat of a dick lately. Soona, the girl I've been talking to late at night nearly every night for the past year or so was surprisingly nice to me today by trying to cheer me up. And that girl that I made a quick mention about in my last post, the one that I thought I really liked, talking to her a couple of hours ago, and well she did mention from the start that she was spoken for, but I didn't get the sense that she was comitting herself. But after she went on and on about him for about half an hour, I realized that she has and that Od was right about medical girls... that they only seek to marry medical boys. On one hand I come out thinking that maybe I could have feelings for a girl, and on the other hand I'm thinking to myself that I'm hopeless.

And Sexy Sara is online, she claims to show her boobs on her webcam in exchange for moblie phone top-up cards. I just never have a top-up card on me whenever she shows up which is why she disappears so quickly after showing up.

Need munchies!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

That's All?!

The weather's nice. It'd be nice to sit outside I guess, but I've already settled my behind in the living room. Popped open a bottle of beer and the curtains behind me at least. I've been spending the past few days in Baghdad to finish the rice season accounts. Surprisingly enough it did turn a profit, nothing great though about ten or fifteen thousand dollars perhaps. It is evident however, that improvements can be made to boost that figure in future years.

I'm still wondering if it's worth my while. Dad wants to expand and I want to reduce the size of our operation to make a better profit margin and so that I may be able to keep up with everything. My biggest complaint is a lack of an effective administration, funny, that's what the farmers say too. At this stage, since I'm learning, it's not necessarily a bad thing for me to watch over every tiny little thing, but at some stage I do want to delegate some of the work. Trouble is that it seems that I can't find anyone capable.

The new management at my local ISP has changed, and the new guys are such dicks that I've switched to another that allows one to download torrents for now. I've spent an hour or two staring at the demonoid website looking for some music to download but nothing much is catching my eye. Which reminds me that I bought a pack of blank CDs and ought to start burning some CDs for the car. I should plan the playlist this time.

I participated in yesterday's provincial elections. The election organizers gave us the round around. Nahida and I walked to the polling station we went to last where we had voted no on the constitution. They then sent us to another polling station at another school which was quite a walk away. Then when we get there they tell us that we're at another school at which point the car curfew was removed so we walked back home and picked up the car and then spent another half hour looking for our polling station. Eventually we found it and were left very ticked off that they had sent us to a polling station on the opposite edge of the neighbourhood from our home whilst there were at least two that were within a moderate range.

Choosing to vote was kind of a last minute decision for me. I did kind of screw up by not checking out the candidates that were on the list that I was voting for. But I don't think anyone on that list is going to get a seat anyway. What's bothering me more than that is that whilst walking from one polling station to another I noticed a sign suggesting that a bank is going to be built over a public park that's in the middle of a residential area. The park is a mess right now, but it has so much potential, because unlike most other parks it's not in the middle of nowhere or bordered by busy streets. It's also the place where I got high the very first time.

If Iraqis import bananas, why don't they import iceberg lettuce?

Baghdad's more fun... a couple of old Arasat restaurants have re-opened: Reef and Captain (though now it's called Coral Beach I think). Went to Coral Beach with Od and his wife today. It would make a great place to booze up, but they don't serve any. Reef, however, does the best pizza in Baghdad and serves wine too (much much better than Saj-al-Reef). It's now safe to say that you can get a decent pizza in Baghdad. Who knows when it'll be safe to say you can get a decent pepperoni pizza though.

As far as work is concerned, I still some have paperwork to do before we start running the rice mill. I have no idea how long it'll be till we can start operation the mill. I'm expecting a whole load of 'we should've had done that sooner' stuff when it does start. I don't quite see when it is that I'll be able to take a vacation.

I'm boring myself with this blog... I need to do something about it. It feels like I'm talking about the same boring stuff everytime I post. It's tempting to start commenting about politics, but that's just too easy. No it's not easy, but it's not my thing is it. Got to do something to make filling in my blog interesting to me. There are some interesting things going on in my life, for example there's a girl that I'm talking to now that I may sincerely like, but she's showing any mutual feelings towards me. Perhaps I just need to be patient. It feels like I'm not offering her anything. Well I've spoken about that now, so that's done.

Complaining about little things was fun. Lots of channels such as MTV and CNN on my satellite receiver aren't working anymore. So the other night I got online and spent an hour trying to figure out how to update the hacks on my satellite receiver, I then realized that all the updates I was installing were over a year old and that no new ones were being made for the model that I bought back in 2003. Now I need a new receiver.

It's one in the morning now, and the generator line went off. Oh but lucky me the national grid is back on. I ought to brush my teeth and go to bed now because I got to drive back to the plantation tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Tassweek Time Coming Up

Yeee... it's cold. My feet are cold, my nose is getting cold too. Tomorrow is going to be a big day. We're going to start moving all the rice paddy to the government silos. Hopefully, we'll move it all over the next four days and then all that would be left would be to put aside the seeds for next season and the rice season will be finally over. Of course, I'll still have to finish doing the accounts to figure out how profit was made. I can't wait to find out how much it is. To finally know what all my effort has been worth.

It's been seven days since my New Year's and I still haven't put into practise my new year's resolution which is to read. I don't think I read anything last year except for The Alchemist which I had already read before. My dad wants me to read the book he made about grandpa, but it's in Arabic. Before working, I thought I would have so much more time to improve myself. I imagined farm life would've been pretty laid back, but it hasn't been so. I'm barely keeping up with all that needs to be done.

I spent a week in Baghdad before coming back to the farm on Sunday. It was such a great week. Even though I had some work to do and I didn't get around to visiting a dentist or seeing a doctor about my bad back, I did get the chance to relax and beat off plenty. My dad would call and ask me to work on the accounts but I didn't even give them a look, instead I took the time to see some friends and eat out. Found a place that makes some alright pizzas and sells booze too albeit expensive though.

I was hoping to try to see some of the girls that I chat to online that I had never met before, but that didn't work out simply because the days they had university I had to go out and do paperwork. But I really need to go see a dentist before meeting any of them becaues my teeth are filthy. I'm a bit scared too, because the other day I took Od and his wife to the restaurant and at a checkpoint a soldier asked what the girl was to me. That was strange because they're not supposed to ask that kind of question.

I have to be honest though, one big reason why I had a good time in Baghdad was because I was getting high. I somehow got my hands on some really lame weed. But it was so nice because it was just like the weed I had when I first started smoking when I was thirteen or fourteen in Baghdad. Certainly the best way to end and start a year. Undoubtedly the best thing I've done in a long time. What surprises me now is how relaxed I feel now as opposed to how I was before going back to Baghdad.

The only bad thing about getting high at home was that I was often paranoid that Nahida was going to catch me and make a big deal out of it. She did catch me, she walked into my room just after I had finished blazing one and she picked up all the roaches that I had poorly hid on the window sill. Thankfully she did not make a big deal out of it. Maybe she did appreciate how stressed out I was as Od had suggested to me.

The experience has however convinced me that when I do go on holiday abroad the first thing I have to do is get high.

I think I still have half a joint's worth left, but it's in Baghdad and I'm here at the farm. I'm just going to have to settle for one glass of tequila for now.