Another Pleasant Valley Awful Desert Sunday

About to begin another blog post of miscellany and, it being Sunday, that awesome Monkee’s song “Pleasant Valley Sunday” popped into my head. With a slight modification, it suits this place. So, here we go:

Another One Bites the Dust

I’m pretty sure that’s not supposed to be like that.

For those of you who didn’t believe that Toyota Surf (a.k.a. 4Runner) wheels have a tendency to detach themselves from said Surfs, here’s the latest. I’m going to take pictures of every Surf I see in this condition from now on as it is mind boggling how often this happens around here. If you see a Surf in this condition, take a photo and send it to me.

Trust me. It says ATOYOT.

Toyota generally has a pretty good reputation for quality back in North America. Hell, we have a Yaris at home and it is really reliable, if somewhat effeminate. However, I suspect that either Toyota sends all its factory seconds to Asia or some of these vehicles may be counterfeit. I drive a Toyota Prado Land Cruiser. It was purchased in Dubai and, while it’s nice enough, if you turn on the rear window defroster, radio stations below 90 MHz are blanked out by static. What the hell? You couldn’t get away with selling something defective like that back home. I shouldn’t complain. At least the fucking wheels don’t fall off. However, this does provide evidence that defective vehicles may be sold for less discerning markets. As evidence that some of these vehicles may actually not be real Toyotas, I offer the Atoyot. I just realized you can’t read it in the picture (hey, I was driving and my IPod camera sucks)…but it really does say ATOYOT on the back of that truck. I don’t think they’d make that mistake at the factory.

Salt in the Wound

Like a good little masochist, I worked out again today. I started out doing some exercises in my room, for a couple of reasons. One, I’d prefer to do all the stuff that requires lying on the ground on my own blanket rather than the mat at the gym. Sure, my room is a dusty mess…but it’s my filth and I know where it came from. God knows what pathogens are present on the mat at the gym. Two, I regard doing only 8 pushups before you collapse into a sobbing heap something that is best done in private. I can actually get 10 done in a row but I don’t go down as far as purists would demand as it is very clear to me that if I attempted a proper push up I could not, in fact, push up, which would make the exercise name rather silly.

So, after some push ups, crunches, swearing, planks, weeping and squats I headed off to our little gym. It was pretty crowded today with three other guys in there. I did some weight training. Ya know, it’s really hard to appear like a serious fitness guy when you are using the smallest dumbbells in the joint.

The last part of my workout is 30 minutes of cardio. My previous cardio attempts ended in abject failure after 5-10 minutes because both the elliptical and the bike became self-aware a couple of minutes into the sessions and randomly increased resistance beyond my limited ability. This time, I outsmarted the elliptical and managed to keep it on level 1 throughout the thirty minutes. Now, when I say “thirty minutes”, that is objective time. Thirty minutes of cardio equates to about 2 hours subjective time for me under normal circumstances. Today, however, was anything but normal. The other guys in the gym were Indian. They had the TV tuned to a fucking cricket match between Delhi and some other third world city I have no intention of ever visiting. Fuck I hate cricket. And I couldn’t even be distracted by the commercials..,they were all in Hindi. I did learn, however, that if you get the right cell phone plan in India, exotic Indian women in saris will dance with you. That cardio seemed to last so long that I think I’m still doing it.

Public Service

Any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental.

I got an email from a reader in KAF who requested that I post the meal hours of the various DFACs on here. John wrote “As a fellow Kandi-Land resident, think you could find the time to do some recon and add the hours of operation for these DFACs?  I can never remember if the Monti opens at 0500 or 0530, or when the 24 hour north line is closed. :)”. My initial reaction was “Whoa there, John! That sounds like research. My ill-considered opinions are of far more import than mere facts. Fuck I hate emoticons.”  Then I thought “Poo pond really stinks today; where’s my room key; I have to pee”. Eventually, I thought “Hey, I can do this with like zero effort by just taking a picture of the signs at each DFAC”. So, here are the hours for the Monti. Once I collect them all, I’ll make a special page for them. Bear in mind that these hours are subject to change without notice and, given the historical level of signage veracity at the Monti these hours may be bogus right now.

Don’t Quote Me on This

What are you trying to say?

Speaking of signs, here’s one that is now up in the TLS. For those of you looking for vacation ideas, why not consider the Kandahar Village Hotel? I’ll tell you why not and it has nothing to do with it being outside the wire, Taliban rocket attacks, dust, 50C heat or flash flooding. I can’t stay somewhere that fucks up punctuation this badly. What the hell are those quotation marks for? Are they scare quotes meant to imply their “Accommodations and Offices” are really just condemned sea containers? This is a pretty big, expensive looking vinyl poster…maybe get someone who’s not a moron to proof it for you next time, dudes. Those of you who think I’m overreacting to a minor error…you’re wrong.

Another Return

Two Outta Three Ain’t Good.

M got back from several weeks leave today so we celebrated with a trip to the Monti. Maybe because I’m such a jock now, I was craving carbs so I had all three types of pasta available. In fine restaurants, this type of thing is called “pasta-three ways”. That doesn’t apply here. This was more of a “pasta-fucked up two ways and okay in one”.  I had Angel Hair pasta with Alfredo Sauce, Ravioli and Vegetable Pasta. I’ve had Alfredo sauce before but I don’t recall it tasting like water. Seriously, it tasted like someone had dumped tepid water over the pasta. It was too bland to be distasteful. The ravioli was a little burnt but the most disappointing thing was that it didn’t taste like Chef Boyardee even though it looked like it. I love Chef Boyardee Mini Ravioli; the meat to pasta ratio in the regular sized ravioli is problematic. To any of you that are thinking “Ewww, that’s so pedestrian. What kind of food critic eats pasta from a can”, I want to point out that it’s not as if I enjoy Beef-a-Roni (that shit is gross and beneath me) and that you’re pretentious assholes. The Vegetable Pasta was actually pretty damn good and I wish I had just had a plate of that.

As we tolerated our meal, M talked regaled us with tales of his vacation. He took his wife and 15 yr old son to Las Vegas. “If anyone ever tries to tell you that Vegas is a family destination, they’re lying”, he advised. “Unless your whole family is into whores” I pointed out. He looked at me with distaste but reluctantly agreed. He further expounded on his layover in Dubai. “Okay, we’ve both seen guys washing their feet in the sinks in public washrooms here and in Dubai. But here’s a new one: In the washroom of one of the Irish Pubs in Dubai (the only place to buy beer between 4 and 6 pm), I saw a guy washing his, umm, junk in the sink”. “Holy fuck” I replied “How dirty does your genitalia have to be (and, more disturbingly, how did it get that way) for you to think ‘I need to wash my penis in a public sink right now’?” None of us could answer these questions.


LT is a member of our KAF team who regularly reads this blog. He was rather chagrined to see the way I gave J credit for identifying that our bottled water is now locally produced when it was actually LT who pointed this fact out to J. I know, you’re thinking “Who cares?” Well, I do. I want this blog to be impeccably accurate, I don’t want my stellar journalistic reputation tarnished and I want LT to shut the fuck up about this. There, done.

Bottom Line

Exercise makes me grumpy.

I’m not a dictator. It’s just that I have a grumpy face. -Augusto Pinochet

1 thought on “Another Pleasant Valley Awful Desert Sunday

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