Two Steps Forward and Two Steps Back

I’d say I don’t like Mondays but everyday is pretty much the same here. Some people like to say that in KAF “everyday is Monday”. This isn’t really appropriate as that would suggest that you’ve just had two days off. For those of us who work everyday, each day is more like Wednesday. A sort of really shitty Wednesday in the middle of a 56 day week. Today was a typical KAF Wednesday…there was some KAF-good stuff and then some bad stuff. I like to end these blogs on a high “I think I can tolerate another few weeks” note so let’s start with the negatives.

Culture Shock

I don’t know…using china and real glasses seems kinda uppity.

Poor T. As I mentioned yesterday, he just got back into theatre. He and his wife went on a very posh cruise around the Caribbean while he was on leave. They had a state room with a balcony and servants and shit. Wanting to share his good fortune and completely lacking in empathy, he sent me the above pictures while I was here. Yeah, it’s no chicken ass but it looks aight.

Ooooh…not quite cut up delicately enough for Mr. Fancy Pants Cruise Ship guy.

So tonight J, T, S and I go to the Cambridge. Hey, it’s steak night! As S and I comment favourably about how KAF-good the steak is in that it is chewable and cutting it doesn’t cause too much tray spinnage, I notice that T has a bit of a hang dog expression. “Sure, you can cut the steak but why don’t they cut the lettuce?” he asks. I very sympathetically laugh at him, say “hold it…don’t eat it yet..this is awesome for the blog!” and grab my camera. I think this made him feel better.

I think he has a point

He went on to talk about how the tomatoes and cucumbers at the Monti last night had been previously frozen. As he tried to start in on his steak, I expected him to comment on it’s toughness or lack of flavour or maybe mention the brown spots on what remained of his lettuce but no…his comment was “It’s the presentation, they just don’t seem to try”. So the others wouldn’t judge him too harshly, I explained to them that he wasn’t being a prima dona,  he was just a little upset that there was no little umbrella in his apple juice. When he held up his steak, however, my mockery died on my lips and I just felt a little sad.

Dinner fit for a Knight (who says Ni!)

I didn’t get any happier as S pulled something green from his forkful of chicken casserole. I asked “What the hell is that?”. “I don’t know. Some sort of fucking bush, I think” he replied. Looks like a shrubbery to me too. This made the bay leaf J almost bit into seem pretty innocuous but any cook knows you’re supposed to remove them before serving. Oh well, at least they had chocolate eclairs for dessert…

Asian Style Hygiene

No extra chicken for me, thanks.

When I was about 16 yrs old, I used to stop at a Mexican food joint a few times a week on my way home from work. They made awesome soft shelled tacos. They also had cats and dogs roaming around the kitchen. It suddenly just closed up one day because the health inspectors caught up with them. I always wondered what made that place so great. Now I just figure I like the taste of bacteria.

Remember when I posted about Asian Style Food on the boardwalk being the best food in KAF. Well, apparently its among the most dangerous too! Here’s hoping they reopen soon…but I think I’ll let J eat there first.

On the Bright Side

Hey, it may be small but at least it’s not beige.

Much to T’s chagrin, I’ve decorated our office in a Nouveau-KAF style featuring ample use of dust and empty water bottles. K and L, our two subcontracted logistics folks, have a new office right near ours. They’ve taken a much greener approach to decoration…concentrating on the landscaping. Their sunflowers are doing very well but the highlight is the 1′ X 3′ lawn they inherited from our Canadian customers. I was pretty impressed and said “Wow, cool grass. That’s awesome” . L remarked that “It’s rather pathetic how excited we get over a little patch of grass”. Thanks for keeping it real L.

T tried to grow a sunflower our first year here. He watered it daily. When he went on leave he asked me to water it. When he came back it was a dried out husk. “Did you water it?” he asked. “No” I said. He doesn’t try to do pull that shit anymore.

Like a Good Neighbour…

Things are looking up around our quarters too. I have a reliable report that the puking teeth brusher was spotted brushing his teeth in a toilet stall and vomiting into the toilet. In most normal places in the world, this would be classified in the “fucking gross” category. We, however, are absolutely delighted that he is not longer barfing in our sinks. Ya take what you can get…
Bottom LineT’s taste buds will soon become inured to KAF food once again and he’ll lose all sense of aesthetics after 4 or 5 days in dusty beige eating plates of slop. KAF will break him once again…it happens to all of us. Soon, he too, will be be grateful for vomitless sinks.

A first visit to a madhouse is always a shock.” – Anna Freud

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3 thoughts on “Two Steps Forward and Two Steps Back

  1. This is SO like KAF, or anywhere else in Afghanistan! Ick, the memories… The sucky DFAC food (AND its presentation), the BEST food on base getting closed down (for “health” reasons no less), every day is Monday (without all those annoying weekends), and every so often a home-made wood box with something green trying to grown in it (we actually had a couple of scrawny rose bushes in Shindand). I would have swooned over the actual LAWN as well… 🙂

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