Monday, August 17, 2009

Bizarre Bazaar

Finally made it to the FOB's Iraqi marketplace in search of a video cable. We'd been staying away from there for operational reasons, but am now able to check the place out. Reminded me a lot of visiting Tijuana in the 60's...seedy, but filled with entreprenurial frenzy. Nobody was selling Chiclets, though. And I did find the video cable I needed, and for only 35,000 Dinar. (Sounds a lot more expensive than it really is...and I love saying "Dinar".) It's like Alice's Restaurant, 'cause you can get anything you want... "Hassan" met me at the entrance to the courtyard, and served as my guide...straight to his own shop, of course. He tried to convince me that what I really needed was a cool leather shoulder holster, and a T-shirt sporting the logo, "Iraq is for Lovers". (Maybe if I wanted to co-star with Dirk Diggler in a detective film...Ha!) After I politely rejected all of the really awesome stuff that Hassan was trying to foist on me, I spotted electronic cables on the shop wall of one of Hassan's rivals, and made a break for it. (Staying fit comes in handy at times over here, as I dodged Hassan's attempt to block my path, and left him in the dust.) After a spirited discussion about cables and electronics in general, Amir dug under a stack of satellite receivers and came up with what I needed. Now this was the point where a better man would have bargained with Amir and brought the price down to nothing...but I just wanted to escape, and my new BFF Hassan was lurking outside with a whole new selection of merchandise. Besides, the cost was still less than if I'd ordered it from Amazon or Best Buy, and the experience provided me with fodder for this blog post. I also admit that it gave me just a little pleasure seeing Amir do the Iraqi version of "In your face, sucker!" to Hassan... Oh, and the cable works like a charm.

Am also in the middle of a fascinating investigation, which of course I can't talk about... but here's your fun fact for today; Compared to civilian police investigations, we generate approximately 3-4 times the amount of paperwork in the Army. ("Now remember, Agent Leprechaun, ya gotta document that you documented the documentation!") It's no wonder that so many of my active duty counterparts smoke...


  1. Ahhh, the memories. "My friend. I have just what you need. No, no, my friend. Do not shop there. You must visit my uncle's shop. It is just around the corner........"

    'Bout right? :)

  2. Tony, it was like you were looking over my shoulder!

  3. Hey Leppy (heehee)

    My mighty master here at work spoke with his nephew who is down your way for the next month.
    His name is Jerry, same last name as Dr. E.

    He is with Dept. of State Investigation and currently at the Chancery at the Embassy. His temp residence is in the Int'l Zone.

    Dr. E thought you two might have some good stories to tell each other since you both have law enforcement background. Look Jerry up.

    On a personal note, hope all is well with you and we STILL miss you at work...

    Lisa Lisa