Babble, Bathrooms, and Bureaucracy

I learned a new language, wondered about the bubblegum blues, and tried to speak truth to power.  Overall, a pretty busy week in this, the land of the dusty dusk.

I can't believe I'm breathing that shit.

I can’t believe I’m breathing that shit.

Watch Your Language

एक अंडा

एक अंडा

Having been here for over 4 years, I guess it’s only natural that I should pick up on some of the customs and language of the multinational KAF community. While I haven’t yet taken to hockin’ up loogies in the sink or adopted the practice of atomizing my poo, I have, apparently, picked up some language skills. Did you know that Hindi for “Two eggs, please” is “One egg, please”?

Bathroom Break

A piece of my childhood, tainted forever.

A piece of my childhood, tainted forever.

Has anyone else noticed that the blue stuff they use in the rockets is no longer bubblegum scented? I, for one, don’t miss it. Whoever thought the odour of urine and feces would somehow be improved by the addition of a bubblegum scent were off their nut. This new stuff seems to just neutralize the odours which is a great improvement but I still think it’ll be a few years before I can enjoy a piece of Bazooka again.

Don't drink the Kool-aid

Don’t drink the Kool-aid

K told me that, when he worked up in Kabul, he was once tasked to find the Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS) data sheet on the blue bubblegum scented stuff. For those that don’t know, WHMIS data sheets warn you about the hazards of dealing with stuff. I don’t really get why one is needed with something used in a portable toilet. I mean, is anybody seriously going to drink this stuff? Or not immediately scream “Ahhh….get it off me, get it off me”, if it comes in contact with their skin?  I don’t know…it just seems like any sane person is gonna be naturally repelled by the stuff enough to stay safe.D hoped it wasn’t dangerous if it came in contact with one’s ass due to the dreaded splashback. “Hmm…maybe that causes diarrhea” I suggested to nods of agreement.

Follow your nose; it always knows.

Follow your nose; it always knows.

Speakin’ of poo, I loved seeing this sign for FedEx up in the TLS. That’s an address that would be really bad for business back in the real world but is better than fucking Google maps around here.

What am I supposed to do with that?

What am I supposed to do with that?

What the hell is up with the industrial strength epoxy they use to seal the end of a roll of toilet paper around here? They start out looking normal enough but just try to start a new roll. It quickly turns into a shredded mass of uselessness. It’s almost enough to make one reach for the atomizer.

Yeah, That Makes Sense

I spent all day yesterday trying to convince a COMKAF agency that just because a document may be of slightly poor (yet fully legible) scan quality that doesn’t mean it’s not legit. “Look, I could create one of these in MS Word in like 10 minutes. Don’t you think I’d be smart enough to make it look like the original rather than a poor scan? Besides, you can read the whole thing…what would there be in a better quality scan that would convince you it’s legit?”, I pleaded to no avail. It only took about 24 hours to get it all sorted out but their illogic was incredibly frustrating. “I think I demonstrated remarkable restraint in not punching anyone in the throat today”, I bragged to M. “Yeah, ’cause you’re so well known for being a tough guy”  M sardonically replied.

I cleverly managed to steer the conversation away from mockery of me onto mockery of the absent D and his earlier speeding ticket. This prompted M to share his own delightful experience with the MPs. He was driving into work at about 2:30 am and was on one of the dirt roads near the IH doing 20kph. Suddenly, he saw the telltale blue lights of an MP and pulled over, perplexed. “Know how fast you were going?” “About 20 k.” “Yeah, well, the speed limit here is walking speed”. “Really? I didn’t see a sign”. “Oh, it’s not posted.” “Um…ok.” “It’s walking speed because this is a pedestrian high traffic area.” M pointedly stuck his head out the window and gazed around at the utterly deserted street. “Ok”. “I’m not going to give you a ticket…but slow down.” Yeah, that really happened. So, all you KAF drivers, make sure you obey the randomly changing, unposted speed limits.

Bottom Line

I got nuthin’ so I’ll leave it to others.

“My dear Excellency! I have not gone to war to collect cheese and eggs, but for another purpose.” – Manfred von Richthofen

“Always go to the bathroom when you have a chance.” – King George V

“The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency.” – Eugene McCarthy

3 thoughts on “Babble, Bathrooms, and Bureaucracy

  1. Got my own ticket for 18k in a 12k zone at about 0430. Really? My boss signed of the ticket and laughed. A buddy got a ticket and didn’t have his ID with him. THAT will get you damn near shot!

  2. Just got home from the boat. As I was entering the narrows I found it incredibly easy to adhere to the “no wake” sign. Top speed of the boat being about 8. It reminded me to relay my speeding ticket story and Lisi was quite amused but congradulated me on my display of restraint. I’m sure the little meathead has no idea how close he was to pulled through his little window by his ears. I must say, Going slow on the boat doesn’t bother me near as much as it does in KAF.

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