Monday, December 06, 2004

A Visit with Mark

A Visit with Mark

06 December 04

My visit with Mark on Saturday was great. Mark, my brother-in-law works out of downtown in Baghdad and I hadn't seen him since the last time he stopped back here in July. He got dropped off at Building 7 and we headed out from there. Eve let me borrow her bike so that Mark and I could ride up to the big PX on North Victory. Mark was pretty excited about that. Being so restricted at the hotel downtown, he doesn't get to get out like we do here.

We did the usual shopping thing. The bizarre had a sale going on, so we had a look. Mark was more interested in going to the PX since his hard drive bought the farm and he needed to get a new computer.

I had to drag Mark over to the carpet store too. I found the Nain (pronounced Nah een' ) of my dreams. It is a wool and silk 4 X 8 carpet in mostly midnight blue with carmel and beige outline. Problem is that I can't justify spending $1900 on it. I know that they run even more in the States, but 2K is a bit much to swallow for a carpet that is so small. Although, I'll never get such a good deal on a carpet so beautiful unless I go to Afghanistan, Turkmanistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait again in my life! Sorry, I'm being a little indecisive here. I'm still contemplating buying it, but that little Bohemian guy with the halo that is sitting on my right shoulder is scolding me severely everytime I think about forking over the money for it!

I left the carpet shop without the carpet, but picked up a few things at the bizarre and at the PX. We stopped over at Burger King (blech! :p ) for your choice of Chicken Sandwiches or Chicken Sandwiches. They were all out of burgers! Can you imagine the outrage if that happened in the States? Shortages are so common over here, you come to expect it and take it in stride. If you see something that you might need in the PX in the next few weeks, better buy it now, because you may not see it again for months! Can't do that with burgers, though.

Mark and I rode back to South Victory, returned Eve's bike and then went over to our PX where he was going to meet up with his people. He also bought the microwave at our PX so that we wouldn't have to try to cart it back via bike from North. The wait for his ride ended up a bit longer than expected, but they got there about 1430. I was exhausted by that time and was ready for bed. I had been up about 25 hours at that point.

Just as I was sleeping good I got rousted out of bed at around 2030 (8:30pm) by the sound of mortars going overhead. Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, swoosh. They landed and exploded out somewhere not near us, but the sound of them overhead was enough to make me hit the floor and put on my helmet and vest. After a few minutes on the floor, I got up and went outside and went out to the bunker that is only about 25 feet from our trailer and joined three soldiers that were in there waiting it out too. After the rocket attacks last week where something like 20 rockets were let off, I wasn't feeling real confident that the first four were going to be the last of it. But, after ten minutes, nothing more. Back to bed for me; the sandman still had it out for me.
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