Outta here for 5 weeks of leave in about 17 hours. I guess this is my last chance to enlighten ya’ll about KAF life for a while. So, here goes:
What the Hail?
Holy shit! We had the worst hailstorm I’ve ever seen a few days ago. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen the famed “golf ball-sized” hail. We got off pretty lightly with only one busted windshield and a bunch of pock-marked vehicles. It sounded like gunshots going off as it hit the metal roof of our building and one smashed through the outer plastic blind on L’s office.
Of course, one plague of biblical proportions isn’t enough for one day. Just like the flash flood of 2011, the brown, fetid river suddenly formed about 3 hours after the rain had stopped. Luckily, our compound and accommodations weren’t inundated like last time, due in no small part to the emergency dam building skills of our landlord. None the less, it was pretty gross. While the pooey water was kinda pretty in the setting sun, I most enjoyed the frantic gesticulations of the MP as he told the intrepid cyclist that he wasn’t allowed to ride there. While I couldn’t hear what was being said, it appeared that the MP was insisting the cyclist ride back the way he had come…through several hundred yards of icky water rather than proceed the 100 feet or so to dry land. Surprisingly, in the end, the cyclist won out and continued on his way. First time I’ve ever seen an MP give up in an effort to enforce nonsenicality.
Both the hail and the flood were preceded, by a couple of days, by a dust storm. I cowered in my room as the wind howled outside so I had to steal this photo from a more intrepid friend’s Facebook feed. Who the fuck would choose to live in a place like this?
Can’t say I’m gonna miss this hell on earth while I’m gone.
North Line Nonsense
M wants to know what kind of idiot butters their English muffins (3 of them…now that seems a little excessive) prior to placing them into the toaster. Now, this guy was no dummy. He realized that these toasters flip the bread over at the end of the conveyor. So he put it in butter side down…thereby dripping butter onto the red hot elements and raising a hellacious cloud of burned butter smoke. What an ass.
And, hey, there’s a guy who kinda looks like Mike Love from the Beach Boys hangin’ out in the NL lately. By “hangin’ out”, I mean, of course, that he stood stock still between the short order bar and the coffee machine effectively blocking all passage. I eventually managed to squeeze around him to get some juice only to be blocked by him once again standing up against the toaster. This is not conducive to good vibrations, dude. So, if when you look in the mirror in the morning you think “Oh man, I kinda look like a guy from a band that used to be ok”, smarten the fuck up.
I could forgive them showing movies aimed at tweens in a fucking warzone DFAC but now they’ve taken it too far. Cartoons? What the fuck? It wasn’t even a cool cartoon like the one where Popeye punches out Hitler or anything with Bugs Bunny. I don’t know what the hell it was. Some fucking day-glo dragons teaching what I can only imagine was a very important lesson about sharing or staying away from priests or whatever. Well, I guess it’s a step up the intellectual ladder from wrestling…
Attempts to get a decent BFBS signal in one’s room is often a topic of conversation in KAF. It ain’t as easy as you’d think. The fucking Europeans use a different digital format than the civilized world so you have to get one of their receivers…and just try to find one that uses normal North American power. Then they have all these messed up coax connections and some giant goddamn plug called SCART that must be designed by the British.
Anyway, L generously gave me her TV as she’s not here very often anymore and I bought a digital TV receiver on Amazon. I haven’t had BFBS since moving into my “new” digs many months ago. Well, I knew there might be issues as soon as I got the thing hooked up and found out the default language was Russian. I fumbled around with the remote and managed to eventually switch it to English. I was able to get a somewhat pixelated image by hooking up to the coax cable I found hanging in the room when I moved in. I kinda assumed it led to an antenna somewhere. I followed the cable to a point where it was taped to another cable. As soon as I touched that kluge of cables the picture disappeared completely. So I enlisted the help of one of our electronics technicians who connected the cables correctly only to find out the second cable just hangs off the end of the building. Plans were made to connect up to one of the myriad abandoned antennae duct taped, tie wrapped, screwed, nailed or glued to our building and surrounding Hesco barrier. “We’re almost there!” I thought as I looked forward to evenings filled with endless fucking cricket and documentaries about hedgehogs. But, when tried to turn on the 1 week old convertor, it had no power. It just doesn’t work. It worked the night before. Fucking Chinese. Sweatshop labour just ain’t what it used to be. So now I’m stuck writing blog posts in the evening rather than getting all the news about the goddamn royals.
If this had, indeed, been cats playing ping pong, I woulda totally gone to see it. Turns out it was just humans.
Heard on April 23rd:
L: “Is it the 23rd today”.
L: “Oooh, we have to go eat at the Cambridge. It’s St. George’s Day!”
Me: “What do you English do to celebrate St. George’s Day?”
L: “Fuck all”.
I convinced M and L that we had to go out to the “Village” Afghan food place at McChrystal Lite so I could write a review of it. Upon arrival, I noticed, for the first time (is it new?) the sign naming the area “RLB Oasis”. I don’t know what the fuck RLB stands for; I assume it’s some US army acronym that they just expect everyone to know. Anyway, it is certainly an oasis…for the flies. Holy shit, they were all over the plastic tables. I don’t think anyone ever wipes those things down so they’re a smorgasbord of spilled sugar and fat. The wooden picnic tables in front of Popeye’s were slightly less offensive. At least the fat can soak into the wood rather than forming a fly shit encrusted film on the surface.
Ok, now that I’ve whetted your appetite, let’s move on to the food. Upon perusing the menu, I declared “I don’t want to eat any of that shit, I’m going to Popeye’s.” “I’m going to Burger King” chimed in L. “I guess you gotta eat here, M. I need to review it,” I remarked as I walked off. Luckily M will eat anything.
Both M and I got our meals in 6 minutes while L’s from BK took considerably longer. M had a the traditional Afghan mozza sticks and fries along with a gyro. “I’m not sure if this is a gyro or a wrap”, he commented after the first bite. “What’s the difference?” I asked, exposing my lack of sophistication. “A gyro is more ethnic”. His meal totaled $20 and included a $5 milkshake that M declared to be “pretty fucking good”. L also had M order her an Oreo shake and, despite it too costing $5, L declared “I don’t want that. I don’t even like Oreo’s. I don’t know why I ordered that.” I assume she didn’t think it was pretty fucking good.
My Popeye’s 3 piece meal was, once again, damn good fried chicken but I still don’t understand why they put that dried up old biscuit in there. L chided me for not finishing the biscuit because “there are starving people in Ethiopia” “Oh yeah, name one”, I challenged. “Moussalla”, she replied.
“Shite” was L’s reponse when asked her opinion of the BK meal. “Oh, the salad was ok”. “What salad?” “The lettuce and tomahto on the burger”. “Ok, that’s not a fucking salad, that’s garnish but I get ya”. “Oh, and the burger was quite nice but the fries were shite.” “So, you’re calling the whole meal shite just because of the fries?” “Yes. that and the company.” Ouch.
One has to appreciate the little things in KAF, like the comfy chairs in the Monti or some decent fried chicken, because all the big things here suck.
Well, that killed 2 hours.
“That’s a pretty fucking good milkshake. I don’t know if it’s worth five dollars but it’s pretty fucking good”. –Vincent Vega