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.



Shaggy i love your blogging style.

I hear all these horror stories of Iraq ...... beheadings,drillings,kidnappings,bombs and on and on and on, yet you come and go to and fro from farm to Baghdad, nightclubs pros and all as if there is no danger.

You really just seem to get on with life and ignore the dangers. I would of thought you would of carried a Bareta pistol at the very least with all these criminals and cutthroats Saddam let loose before Bagdad fell.

You dont fear kidnapping either. Your carefree attitude is great and you have a stle of writing that is addictive to read AND YOU ARE A BIT ODF A COMIC.

It is almost as if you are this fictional character out of some comedy sketch.

How about writing a book with the Zany title Baghdad Bacon and Eggs.

Could be your key to a fortune.

P.S. More blogs please.....i have even added you to my favourites.

Somephotos as well would be magnifico. Fortunately i spend all day in a Merchant Bank in London surfing the net placing wagers on sport and horse racing to try and make additions to my salary.......great i know how lucky i am.

Regards/Stay safe


Average American said...

Sounds great. The government is buying your wheat but not telling you how much they will pay until later? I hope it ends up being a fair price. I don't think I could trust them. So the farmers say you learned faster than your uncle and father? Won't they love to hear that.

Don Cox said...

That was a good post. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dude..Im loving how you suddenly became a farming expert and I had seen the results in the rice you brought my gran in Baghdad!ha!
anyways..hope all is good neighbour, once Im back from London to good ol' Baghdad, you can always come and visit me, like old days! except the familia is being very wary about my return and there is alot of opposition.

Apparently everyone likes this new government, they really do do what they dads having a blast with the whole wheat fiasco!

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Great post, Shaggy. Thank you. :)