Another Monday at KAF. It seems suspiciously like the six days that preceded it. With nothing singular to make any one day stand out, here’s a bunch of miscellany, much of which was quite irksome.
Quit Yer Bitchin’
Every time we would head out to dinner, I’d ask “So, where do you guys want to eat tonight?”. My civil and necessary inquiry would invariably be met with whiny moans like “They all suck”, “I don’t care”, “Why does it matter?”, “Anywhere is as bad as anywhere else”. I would then make a command decision and pick a DFAC, any DFAC, which would always elicit “Ewww, I hate that place”, “Anywhere but there”, “We just went there a couple of days ago”. I couldn’t win. M and S both prefer Far East, J prefers Lux or Cambridge while D and I have taken a shine to the Monti and IH. L hates them all and we all hate the noisy, hot and crowded Niagara. So, I’ve created a little spreadsheet that cycles dinners between the three types DFACS, Asian (Far East), Euro (Lux and Cambridge) and US (Monti and IH). Now they whine about the spreadsheet. I try to bring a little order to their lives and this is the thanks I get.
Bits and Bites
As I enthusiastically implemented the new dining regimen, the others sullenly tagged along. Consequently, I have some bouquets and brickbats for several of the DFACS.
At the Lux, I had the Coffee Custard for dessert. Once I removed the hideously thick pudding scab it tasted pretty damn good despite A’s insistence that it looked like congealed gravy.
While that wasn’t very appetizing, it was certainly preferable to L’s “baby spit up” comparison. I suppose my “Spit up? Looks more like it would have come out the other end” comment didn’t help matters either. L was put off by pretty much her entire meal and groused “Now I remember why I never eat at the Lux” as she perused the puddle of water which had accompanied her soggy veggies. Oddly, she found my matter-of-fact explanation that “we really had no choice but to come here because of the spreadsheet”, less than comforting. Some people just thrive on chaos, I guess.
Like the Monti, IH has a really good sandwich bar as a fairly new addition. There are several kinds of fresh bread and lots of fillings, meats and cheeses. They even make the sandwich for you.
To make it even better, there was one of the dudes in the white chef’s coat there putting them together. As far as I can tell, people are given the white coats either because they’re in charge or because they speak English…I’m not sure which. Regardless, this guy was an American and he had a cheerful banter about all the choices available. Apropos of nothing, he recommended apples and celery as part of a successful weight loss regimen despite having neither of these items on offer. Kudos to you Mr. Sandwich Guy…your lively chatter was a welcome change from the usual grim silence of many DFAC employees. And the tuna sandwich was excellent.
Have you ever seen yellow tomatoes? They seem to be a new fancy-pants thing available at big grocery stores back home and they charge a bundle for them. Well, either the Northline is starting to carry some hoity-toity veggies or they’re completely ignoring the fact that the yellow colour might indicate that their tomatoes aren’t fucking ripe yet. Somebody had cut this particular tomato into wedges without noticing that it was the only goddamn yellow one in the bunch? They didn’t think “Hey, that’s weird. It’s yellow. And hard. Maybe I shouldn’t put it on the salad bar”? Yes, I took it and ate it just so I could blog about it. So sue me.
When we entered the Far East tonight, the MPs were doing one of their random ID checks. As I approached the young servicewoman with the gun, she smiled, checked my ID and said “You have a pleasant evening” as she smiled yet again. As we washed our hands, I remarked to L, “That’s the most cheerful and pleasant MP I’ve ever dealt with” to which our apparently jaded Brit replied “She’s only been here a few days then, hasn’t she? Give her some time”. Anyway, Far East was pretty decent for a change. I, of course, had the chicken stir fry with a generous dollop of sweet chili sauce. I also tried the Indian Rice Salad and Kidney Bean Salad from the salad bar. The rice salad was intriguingly good. The spice on it was curry-ish but unfamiliar and had a bit of heat which mixed well with the raisins.
The Kidney Bean Salad, on the other hand was bland. A insisted that it had some sort of spice on it but I told him he was full of shit. Because he was. M remarked that the white ice cream was “very white tasting tonight” while I found the Jello to be really good. I was particularly chuffed to find that the white stuff on top was actually a whipped artificial topping rather than the usual lard. The highlight of the meal was, of course, the unintelligible Bollywood movie playing on the TV. As far as we could tell, it involved a bad Hare Krishna (played by the villain from the Thunderbirds) and his Klingon thugs who were trying to defeat Indian Jesus. And then they danced.
Seriously? They need to put up a sign to tell you not to play with the King fucking Cobra? I suppose I should have stopped being amazed by the guidance some people need ever since I saw the “Don’t Blow Your Nose In The Sink” sign. So, to my two daughters, sorry kids, Daddy can’t bring home that pet Saw-Scaled Viper like he promised. You’ll have to be content with the rabid wolverine Grandma gave you for Christmas.
Pee and Poo
Feces and urine play far to big a role in our lives around here. On top of dealing with the constant odour and mess of our washrooms, we’re supposed to study our pee to be sure we’re not getting dehydrated. One sign I saw suggested you may be dehydrated if you have the urge to pee less than twice a day. Fuck, I guess no guy my age is ever dehydrated then. I prove I’m not dehydrated within an hour of waking up.
Then, of course, there is the infamous poo pond. A was less than enthused as I made a detour on the way home today to get a few pictures of the various art installations that now grace its banks:
Fuckers, I Hate Them All
That’s a phrase that escaped my lips more than once over the last week. Here’s a compendium of messages to arseholes.
Yo, Romanian dudes walking 4 abreast down the middle of the road, get the fuck out of the way. There are goddamn sidewalks behind the rocket barriers…use ’em or at least move when a car is coming. You woulda sucked at road hockey.
Hey, you Americans. Yeah, you. The ones doing the seemingly deliberately slow KAF shuffle as you look at M with his signal on waiting to back into a spot at Cambridge. We’re pretty sure you slowed down even more when you saw you were in the way. That makes you assholes, and ploddingly slow assholes at that.
Oh, and speaking of backing into parking spots; are you too good to back in Mr. Non-Conformist? The large, clearly legible signs have been there for weeks. Stop playing with that goddamn cobra for a minute and pay the fuck attention.
Ok, Mr. British armyman, I understand you think it’s vitally important that you put your meal card back in your little girlie wallet upon entering the DFAC but could you not do it as you stand in front of the trays and cutlery? It’s particularly galling that you decided that rather than concentrating on putting the meal card away, you thought it more important to regale your friends with your inane commentary thereby holding up the ever burgeoning line even longer. I don’t like you. Oh, and I assume the Brit who thought it was really fucking polite to grab the bread tongs and, rather than grabbing bread, to hold them as he chatted to his friends in the egg line, is a friend of yours. You deserve each other. I don’t like him either.
Mr. Extremely Young US Serviceman, unlike some of the others mentioned in this part of the post, I feel more pity than anger towards you. As you hopefully approached the toaster, bread in hand, and peeked inside, why did you ask me “Do you have toast in there?” and then put your bread down when I answered in the affirmative? My toast was halfway throught the damn thing and the toaster is designed to handle several slices at once. Do you really not understand how it works? And they gave you a gun? Ugh…see my handy toaster tutorial. You’re welcome.
Ok, Mr. New Kabul Bank man, I showed up at your fucking bank machine at 0850 this morning. It was locked. After my haircut, at 0918, I returned to your chronologically-challenged bank. I was momentarily elated to see you coming out of the ATM room only to see you lock the door behind you. “Is the bank machine open”? I somewhat hopefully inquired only to have you respond “5 minutes, it’s open in maybe 5 minutes” with the accompanying head-waggle. I’m sure you can understand, given that your bank thinks “Open Soon” can mean anything up to two years, I assumed that 5 minutes could mean anything up to 3 days. So I left. Here’s an idea for you. Put up a sign with hours of operation that actually reflect what the hours of operation are. Radical, I know, but you might actually get more people visiting the World of Plastic Money that way. Don’t bother to try and friend me on Facebook. I won’t accept.
That feels better.
“On Monday mornings I am dedicated to the proposition that all men are created jerks.” – H. Allen Smith