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.


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


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.