iraqistan

8/7/2005

Mysterious Happenings in the Laundry

Filed under: — lana @ 12:28 pm

This country seems to be some sort of vortex.

First of all, there is the wonder that is KBR, otherwise known as the Halliburton fun that is Kellogg, Brown, and Root, which has the total monopoly on all of the general care out here, having taken most of the jobs that soldiers do as free labor and given it to various nationals of various countries for a small sum, which we don’t complain about as it leaves us free to go and save the world, or something like that. Anyway, I turned in some socks a few weeks back. All of them were black socks. Three pairs, making six socks total for those a little slow in the mathematics department, all brand new black wool-blend socks. I received back six socks, black. Every single sock was different from all of the others. Either size, material, shape, texture, coloring, age (one seemed to have a hole in the worn toe area), something wasn’t quite right about EACH sock.

Now, how does that happen? I mean, how many different types of black sock are there? And why, really, are they mixing and non-matching in my laundry? I don’t really complain, given that I make up my laundry slip as I go along most of the time, checking off items that aren’t in my bag in the hopes that maybe something fun will show up one of these days, and I have even started writing in items on the slip… I asked if I can go and complain that my pink chicken suit didn’t come back in the laundry, and my superiors said no, and that if my pink chicken suit needed washing, we were going to have issues as it was. I told them it was for missions only. I think that was the third time they kicked me out of the office that day, which they cover up by asking me, “Don’t you have somewhere to be?” and I usually try to give them as blank of a look as possible as I wander out. Keeps expectations nice and low.

Anyway, the second mystery: Where do all of the pants of the small kids in this country go? I think below the age of about four, pants are not required nor expected. However, since the age of two seems to deem that children are left to their own devices since their mom is usually busy with the one year old and one month old at that point, they just run around the countryside with no pants. Usually, in sweatshirts that go to their waist. This results in funny pictures because the Samoans are huge and standing next to some tiny kid which you can only photograph from the waist up, so I have a zillion pictures of huge Samoan guys from the mid-calf up. But where do the pants go? Don’t these things come as full outfits? Who declared that pants were an okay thing to say goodbye to? did they use the pants to half-clothe another kid? Maybe if these people would stop having a gajillion children…

Speaking of which, I met a guy the other day with 22 brothers. 22, and that is just brothers, not including sisters, of which I think there are around ten. One father, three mothers. Everyone lives together. In a mud hut on a farm somewhere. What is scary about that is this means when one child dies (usually, around here, by blowing himself up or otherwise untimely death), they just have a funeral for a few days and move on. With 32 siblings, I would have trouble keeping their names straight… there are days when my mom used to mix me up with my sister, and would correct herself by calling me by the dog’s name, and we only had two kids and two dogs in the family.

As such, I have started calling everyone in this country “Rover” and gotten on with saving the world… though apparently I need to start saving my socks…

3 Comments »

  1. I had it worse, Elana. My mother used to call me “George,” who was really my uncle, or occasionally “Lily,” who was her sister. I would remind you that I was an only child. Perhaps this is where your sense of confusion comes from…

    Comment by Dad — 8/7/2005 @ 4:20 pm

  2. Hey, what happened to this blog? Did the army find out about it? Are you in the shit? Let me know.

    Comment by manning — 8/27/2005 @ 3:37 am

  3. Thank you for this posting. I just snorted a mouthful of coffee through my nose, because I was giggling so hard. [And, it was HOT coffee, thank you very much.]

    How about some words on the importance of the Iraqi cnstitution, since the newspapers here make it seem SO VERY IMPORTANT!!. Is it really all that relevant over there?

    Comment by Joel Glucksman — 8/29/2005 @ 12:40 pm

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