Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape neurotic Iraqi wife: July 2007

neurotic Iraqi wife

July 30, 2007

The War of the Playgrounds...(Updated with BBC Podcast)

I waited till this morning so I can talk to my coworkers and ask them about the most amazing win of our football team. Everyone was so elated, it’s just so refreshing to see those Iraqi smiles again. It sure has been a long long time since Ive seen that on their faces. Yesterday almost everyone left about after noon because of the curfew that was put in place, and in fear of what might transpire from security concerns. Only those who live in the GZ or close to the GZ remained to watch the game. I went into one of the rooms where they had prepared a huge screen for the game. I made sure to take up a seat where I can watch everything. The room was mostly filled with our IT and maintenance guys. I and probably 2 or 3 other females were surrounded by testosterone filled Iraqis. I would crack up at their comments and expressions. Its been a long time since I was in such a gathering.

As our team scored its goal, we all started jumping up and down. Each minute of the last ten minutes to me felt like an hour. I just wanted the referee to end the game. And wowwwwww, no, wowwww does not explain the scenes after that. No, it really doesn’t describe those Iraqi guys with me. They all got up from their chairs screaming, shouting, dancing, singing. It was amazing. I cried, I cried for it was extremely emotional. One of the US generals also joined the celebrations. There were a lot of the US military and expats watching the game with us. They too couldn’t believe the images of jubilation from the Iraqis. They too had smiles. They all got up and started hugging their coworkers. It truly was a moment, a moment I will never ever forget. At that time HUBBY calls me. I couldn’t hear a thing he was saying, but I kept the line open so he can hear the singing, the dancing, the shouts and screams. It felt good. Really good.

This morning, I asked everyone how they felt and what they did yesterday. One guy, N, said with great excitement, this was far more than a game, we beat the Wahhabis, he said. We beath tem and showed them what Iraq is. We broke their noses (An Iraqi expression). I smiled, for it seems everyone took the football as a war. Just like I did. Everyone wanted to prove a point, everyone wanted to throw the Saudi noses to the floor, and oh yes we did. The Lions of Babylon did this so gracefully. What a team. Yet even with this joy and happiness, some countries didn’t allow the Iraqis to share their rare celebrations. In Amman and Dimashq, police started beating up the Iraqi fans, and tearing up Iraqi flags. Funny how one anonymous reader asked me to be grateful to Jordan. Oh really??? Look at what theyre doing!!! Even in those rare and short moments of laughter, they kill it. Their hatred is so overwhelming. And when I talk about countries, I don’t mean the people, I mean the governments and their policies, so don’t take me wrong.

Everytime I take a break and then come back to my workstation, I find more and more emails of articles and Iraqi football songs from my coworkers. You can feel it in the air. Even at a meeting earlier this morning with the General’s presence he praised the team and congratulated all the Iraqis. It was nice to see everyone enjoying the moment. Everyone, without any exceptions. In a war torn country filled with rivers of blood and streets of charred flesh, it was as if God was smiling on us again. In a war torn country destructed by outside hatred and sectarian violence, it was as if, for that moment, that short moment the martyrs came alive and brought the high spirits back. How I wish I was in the red zone. How I wish I was amidst all this. The green zone came alive, and so did the rest of the country. The beeping of cars, the celeberatory fire, the loud music, brought this divided nation together. It may take us a long time to get rid of the thugs that are causing the bloody mayhem, but yesterday, yesterday was OUR war, The war of the Playgrounds…

Chris Vallance of BBC FIVE LIVE called me last night and had this interview with me. If you wanna hear my views please click on this link here (They have pretty interesting subjects but if you dont have time to listen to the whole thing you can forward it to 03:04:00and 04:15 on realplayer) Thanx Chris it was really nice talking to you
posted by neurotic_wife at 12:51 PM 76 comments

July 29, 2007

The Great Lions of Babylon WON!!!

The GREAT LIONS OF BABYLON WON!!! You should have been there. YOu should have seen the happiness on everyones faces. You should have seen the tears on everyones cheeks. This surely is one of the greatest days and times for Iraq. For the Great Iraq. I will write more when I get to my room. As for now, Im gonna live these moments of jubilation... THE GREAT LIONS OF BABYLON WON!!!
posted by neurotic_wife at 5:34 PM 13 comments

July 27, 2007

The Great Lions of Babylon...

I so wanted to blog when the Iraqi team won. But unfortunately I had some problems accessing the blogspot site. The game for me is not just about the game anymore. Its more like a resemblence of the human existence. Iraqis always took pride in their football capabilities. Always. I guess its just like the American football and how everyone sits glued to their TVs watching the NFL championship or the Super Bowl which to be honest I cant stand. But Football, the real football (soccer in america) is the love of every Iraqi. Be it a man, a woman or even a child. As I said, its like our national pride.

For Iraq to win South Korea, meant alot. It really did. For a few short hours, this divided nation came together as ONE. For a few short hours, this sad morbid country came alive. For a few short hours the football managed to do what no government or country was able to do in over four years. The game began at 1420, while I was at work. I immediately went to the IT guys and asked them to give me a website I can access so I can watch the game. They ofcourse did, and off I went, minimising the screen so much that I could barely see, but atleast I was able to listen to the Iraqi commentator. When it was right at the end and we won 4-3, I jumped, and shouted, which ofcourse coincided with our security speakers announcing a lock down due to the celebarotary fire. I heard the cars beeping and shots being fired in the air.

A weird sense of happiness overwhelmed me. I felt goosebumps all over my arms. I wanted to celebrate, I wanted to jump and dance, but how can I? I wanted to share the news with people who would appreciate the meaning of the Iraqi team winning, but there was no one around, for all the Iraqis left early due to the security concerns. I tried calling HUBBY but his mobile phone was switched off. I felt deflated for there was no one, absolutely no one that can share my happiness, which to be honest isnt anything new. I guess I got used to being alone.

The game on Sunday is crucial. Especially because its against the Saudis. God, I hope and pray we will win, I really do. I wanna bring their noses down for once. I know I shouldnt be judgemental and I know I shouldnt generalize for many of my friends are Lebanese, Jordanians and Palestinians but in general the Arabs did nothing but hurt us. They hate us, they hate us because they dont want to see a beautiful unified flourishing Iraq. They fear us. I remember when I had to spend the night in Amman to catch my flight to London, how the taxi driver who took me to my hotel was so angry with the Iraqis. His voice was filled with so much hatred towards us. He said we are a nation that gave up the best leader, which naturally meant Saddam. He also said that we have no loyalty towards anyone and that America is there for the Oil and to help Israel, bla bla bla...

Ever since I got here from R&R, my coworkers have been going on about how the Danes had the guts and got all the Iraqi translators and everyone else working with them together with their families outside the country, while the Americans and Brits dont have the balls to do the same. I totally agree. I mean, please cmon, look at the size of Denmark and the size of the US or Britian. This is the least thing they can do for the Iraqis who helped them and worked with them. All my coworkers are disgusted and disappointed at the same time. W said, when I first started I used to look upto the Americans, I was happy and hopeful, but after 3 yrs, I have no respect for them nor their policies. He continued, I dont believe in them anymore. Where is the freedom they promised? The least thing they can do is help us get out of this hell. Or maybe they want us to die here, yes, he nods his head, this is exactly what they planned for. They want to extinguish all Iraqis. Neurotica, I wish I was working with the Danes, I wish I was in the South. I could have been in the free world by now. I could have been living by now...

So yes, apparantely the Danes do have more balls. They did it their way, the best way. And lets not forget the Swedes. Theyre not even in the coalition yet look at the number of Iraqis they have taken in. The only hope Iraqis have here is that darn translator visa, which by the way, all depends if Jordan allows the Iraqis in. One girl N got her interview date, travelled all the way to Amman with her husband. At the Immigration, the Jordanian officer asked her the purpose of visit, she showed him the American Embassy papers requesting her for an interview, he laughed at her sarcastically and said "You want to be an American citizen so you can come back and play superior to us??? Your entry is denied!!!" And so N was ushered into a small room, with tens of other Iraqis with very little food and water and no blankets, so they can go back to Baghdad on the next plane out. Back to the hell theyre trying to leave...Do you think thats a fair way of helping a neighbouring country???

Apart from that misery, many International companies are winding down and leaving. Mine is one of them. So what about all those who worked with me??? What is gonna happen to them? Some have already found jobs with other companies inside the GZ, but the rest, the rest are gonna lock themselves in their houses, in the hope of getting that interview date. After that, they are hoping for the American Embassy in Amman to assist them with the Jordanian officials. Maybe move their interviews to Turkey or Egypt. Anywhere but Jordan. Apparantely, they refused to do so, but maybe, just maybe with Embassador Crocker's pleas something may transpire.

Iraqis were always respected in the Arab world, before and during Saddam's time. People from Palestine, Egypt, Syria and Jordan begged to come here to get the Iraqi nationality. Ofcourse with their benevolent leader, they were always treated better than the Iraqis themselves. I remember when I used to travel with my parents and say we are Iraqis, its like we've just said we are royalty. But now, now being an Iraqi means nothing but a destitute poor country. All those countries who used to salute us in the past, look down at us, mock us and kick us where it hurts. This is the reality that we live in. We have become like some disease that everyone runs away from.

So now you see why the football game is not really about a game anymore? Its more about Iraqis vs Arabs. Iraqis vs Iraqi haters. The jubilations although cut short due to the filthy Al Qaeda tactics will not deter the Lions. The Great Lions of Babylon...
posted by neurotic_wife at 5:57 PM 31 comments

July 24, 2007

Everyday is a Ground Hog day...

Coming back is always a challenge. It becomes harder and harder with each R&R. After sleeping for only three hours, I had to wake up to the constant ringing of my mobile phone alarm clock. Yup, I dont own a clock, I rely on my mobile. Ofcourse hitting the snooze button doesnt really help. Instead of waking up at 430 I found myself waking up at 530. I had to rush because my ride to the airport was at 6. HUBBY woke up and with his sleepy voice said "I dont think I will be coming with you". I didnt say much, infact I felt guilty that he had to wake up that early, so I just said, thats ok sweetie, I can go alone, its no problem. Ten minutes later he was already putting his clothes on. I just smiled to myself and said to him, please, you really dont have to come, I mean it. He wouldnt hear it and off we went to the airport.

Because Iraqi Airways dont fly to Baghdad from Dubai on Mondays, I took another airline, Jupiter Airlines. Thanks to my brother, he spoke to the manager and I was able to get on it. The flight was full. I mean totally full. We arrived at the airport and it took quite awhile for me to get my boarding pass. I hugged HUBBY goodbye and went inside to the waiting area. As the guy opened the door to the gate, OMG, you can say the exodus started. I dont think standing in a line means anything to any Iraqi. I mean holy cow, everyone just stood up and started pushing and shoving. I wanted to tell them "hey chill out, the plane wont leave without you". Even funnier was an elderly man wearing the traditional dishdash, approached the man infront of me, and asked whether this was the flight to Baghdad. The guy nodded yes, the elderly man didnt bother to go to the back and wait for his turn, instead he pretended he knew the man and stood right next to him. If he wasnt an Iraqi I would have given him a piece of my mind, but I felt bad, so I kept my mouth shut.

As we were hurled inside the bus, I seriously felt like one of those sheep that get hoarded by their shepherds. I mean the pushing and shoving became worse. Besides, why is everyone so keen to go back??? I thought people were leaving Iraq???? As I sat in my seat, one of the exit doors opened and 2 ladies dressed in black on wheelchairs where hurled in. Another lady on crotches holding a picture of a young man, with a black ribbon on the side (indicating he was martyred) followed them. It was then that it hit me, they most probably lost this young man in an explosion, or a militia kidnapping. Sadness overshadowed my thoughts. The flight took 2 hours and 15 minutes. As the Captain announced the descent to Baghdad INternational Airport, the plane kept going round and round for about 30 minutes above the airport. I swear I felt sick to my stomach, and my bladder decided to say hello to me.

I get inside the airport and stand in the line that says "Iraqis". Incidently the man who was looking at my passport was the same one that stamped it when I left three weeks back. I laughed and said its you, he smiled back. I remembered him clearly cuz when I left last time he asked whether I hold another passport, and I said yes, asked him why he asked that question, he didnt answer. This time he said, is the Dubai exit stamp on your British passport? OMG, I just stood there not knowing what to say. I nodded with my eyes pleading him not to give me a hard time, I really really needed to pee...Then he looked at my passport pic and said, what happened to you, you have lost so much weight. I couldnt believe that I was actually having a conversation with this guy. I needed to peeeeeeeeee. Again I nodded and said, yes this picture was taken 8 yrs ago, I lost 10 Kilos during that time. Why he asked. Damn it IM thinking, if he doesnt stop talking soon, Im gonna have to pee in my pants. I forced a smile and said, what else, misery of life..He smiled at me and as he was giving me back my passport, I took it sooooooooo fast and scrammed to the bathroom. That was a close call. He probably thought I was some kinda lunatic, cuz while he was asking me all these questions, I kept tapping my shoes on the floor, as if that will stop my pee urge, but I had to keep moving...

Ofcourse peeing in Baghdad International Airport aint fun at all. First off, the toilets are disgustingly dirty. Oh and if you ever come to BIAP, make sure you have some tissues handy with you, cuz you will never ever find toilet paper. You just have to take a long breath and hold it in so you wont smell the horrible stench. I mean for God's sake, theyre paying millions for O&M, atleast keep the darn toilets clean!!! By the time I was done, I asked one of the trolley guys to help me with my suitcase when it comes in. I would have dragged it myself but because they search everything before you depart the airport, there was no way in hell I was gonna lift a 32 kg bag up. Maybe in my younger days I woulda risked it, but I knew I would make a fool of myself, thats why I asked for help.

I had a PSD team come and pick me up. Although many people even with PSD's fear the airport road, I myself Love it. Its the only opportunity I get to see 5 minutes of the red zone. The houses, the beautiful Iraqi houses. By the time I reached my compound, and as I was walking towards my room, BOOOOOOOOM, a suicide car shook the area. It was somewhere in Karrada. The Big Voice announced a lock down, and I just continued my walk in the middle of the compound. A security guard motioned with his hand for me to run to a bunker, I looked at him with a "are you kidding me??? I aint running with THIS suitcase" I guess he saw the expression on my face, ran towards me, grabbed my bag, and took me to the bunker. I laughed, and told him, this was my wlecome back.

I unpacked my bag, and after a few hours I get a phonecall from my coworker M asking me whether Im interested in having dinner and listen to the latest office news. After dinner I went back to my room and attempted to take a shower. My water was brown, literally brown. I laughed to myself, for it was only the other day I was in this hotel in Dubai taking a shower in a beautiful marble bathroom...Yup, but I guess you gotta make sacrifices, you want something, you gotta leave something else. By the time I got out of the shower I was knackered. I tried to sleep but my eyes kept defying my urge. I think I finally managed to nod off at 2 in the morning, and I couldnt believe it when my mobile alarm rang at 630 (its liek deja vu). I started itching my arms and chest profusely. Then it daunted me, THE DARN ANTS BIT ME!!! I probably had them crawling on me...eeewwww. I immediately placed an order to spray insecticide in my room. I also saw a small baby lizard last night having a party with my tennis shoes. Yuck!!!

Oh well, in another four months and a half, I will be able to enjoy the civilized world again, or maybe even sooner if HUBBY is serious in leaving this place. You never know. As for now, its back to work and back to the Everyday is a Ground Hog Day...
posted by neurotic_wife at 5:05 PM 13 comments

July 22, 2007

The Green Zone Prison...

In just a few days and I will be back in that miserable prison again. Its funny how with every R&R it becomes even more difficult to head back. I remember an image that is stuck with me while I was in NY. I was in Madison Avenue just standing there, and everyone is walking by me so fast, I felt just like the movies, where I was static and everything else around me is on the move. I immediately felt time is passing me by. Yes, Time is passing me by and I have achieved nothing, nothing at all. A heavy feeling that burdens my ever so sore shoulders.

I have stopped trying to get HUBBY to quit. I think I have stopped ever since we got back last October. I stopped the nagging, I stopped the moaning. After using every trick in the book, from the seductions to the cooking to everything a man would possibly want, I quit. I guess I didnt have energy left in me, for everything I tried went down the drains. He was adamant in fulfilling his dream. His dream of being that one noble guy who tried everything inorder to help his own people. To help his own people, neglecting his own life. His own life and his own wife. I became extremely neutral. Hmm, maybe neutral isnt the right word here, numb is probably more like it. I decided that I should go with his plans and see where will that lead, hence I stopped being me, I stopped being a nag. A relief to him, no???

He decided to relocate and be closer to his project. HUBBY is no longer in the GZ. And it was only a few days ago that I got to see him after 2 months!!! He is on R&R too but this time the first thing he said when we were having "our chat" was, "Neurotica, Im quitting!". Wow, although I have heard these words before when he gets angry and disappointed, this time he seems more serious, his words more serious. My numbness remained, for I had no words except, Ok, if thats what you want, then do it. Two years back I would have probably jumped up and down, infact a yr back I would have jumped up and down, but now, I dunno. The words didnt move me much. I guess cuz Ive heard them before and so I wont believe it until I see it, or maybe cuz I believe my time isnt up yet. I dunno. Im in such a state of confusion.

I do wanna leave, I wanna leave so badly, yet I dont think its time. At the same time, I have this little voice flashing me that image in NY, and my shoulders just slump. Yesterday, out of the blue I began to cry. I was just sitting there on the sofa with my tears trickling down, I tried to hide my face for I didnt want HUBBY to notice, but my gulps became louder and he saw the tears. Whats wrong, he asked. What happened? I didnt know what to answer, for I myself didnt know what was wrong. Maybe that strong image that I keep portraying to the world is waning away. But last night I was in so much need of a hug. He motioned me to come closer with his hands and he put his arms around me, yet I continued crying. I wanted to be that small little girl again sitting on her fathers lap.

I remember how when I was younger, and I would have nightmares, how easy it was to slip into my parents bed quietly and snuggle between them. The feeling of safety and security was amazing. Yet its a pity how fast I wanted to grow up. Had I had that crystal ball, I would have stayed a child and not opt for leaving my parents so early. In a few more days and I will be back to that emotionless place, Ughhhhhh...Back to the horrible robotic life. Work, eat and sleep. Maybe I will take HUBBY on his offer, maybe I will wake up one day and decide that Ive had had enough. When I asked him what he wanted to do after quitting, he said "I dont wanna do anything, I dont wanna work for anyone anymore, Ive had enough. I just wanna do my own thing". Hmmm, I dont think I can sit and do nothing. Infact just the thought of being stuck at home scares the hell outta me. After working for 2 years, almost 7 days a week, 12 hrs a day, I feel awkward not doing anything. I CANT NOT WORK, NO WAY!!!

So yes, HUBBY is quitting, or so he says. I will just have to wait and see. Its a pity they gave him a hard time. I have never met anyone, anyone in my life, so dedicated to doing his job like him. And no, not because he is HUBBY that Im saying this, for Im always critical of his actions, but its true that HUBBY is probably the one person who really wants his project to work. Almost everyone I know is there for the money, even if there is a small percentage that do believe in the cause, but they dont get emotional if things dont work out. They probably would shudder their shoulders and say "oh well, it didnt work, atleast Im getting my paycheque". But HUBBY has been critisized by his own company for being "emotional" and "too involved". I mean what the hell!!! What do you expect??? Emotional has really become a taboo word. Is being passionate about ones work so bad??? I dont understand. I really dont.

Companies are there to make a killing, HUBBY is there to make a difference. But they killed even that. I remember how I was sitting the other day watching him. He was staring blankly at the TV. I said "Hey, what u lookin at?" He didnt respond. I shouted the words out, he shook his head and said huh? I said what u lookin at? He replied "Nothing, Im just thinking". Thinking thats all he has been doing. You know about what? About his damn project and the people he is trying to help. Im sure Im gonna get comments like "your husband is a collaborator, traitor, etc" Well, I guess I dont mind, since his so called "collaboration" is for his own people. Mind you I say his own people, and not his country, for I dont believe in the country anymore.

I better leave it at that, for I have packing to do. Yeah the story of my life, packing and unpacking, did I ever mention that I have become a professional packer??? For anyone who needs tips on how to pack so efficiently drop me a line and I will be happy to assist you ;-) But for now, its goodbye freedom and hello prison. Goodbye yummy latte's and hello yucky coffee. Goodbye fresh food, hello dfac food. Goodbye king bed and hello tiny bed. Goodbye huge bathroom, hello hole in the wall. Goodbye family and hello lonliness. Goodbye Freedom and Hello Prison...The Green Zone Prison....
posted by neurotic_wife at 9:33 AM 8 comments

July 21, 2007

A Foreseeable Crystal Ball...

A new phenomena is sweeping the world. Well, it aint really new, but it definitely has become more and more popular as time passes and circumstances changes. Since I havent really been out in the red zone for over a year now, I cant really say nor see what is happening first hand. I rely on my colleagues and coworkers to tell me the "real" news and not what we hear and see on TV. L (The vibrator girl) told me a few weeks back that fortunetellers have opened shops all over Baghdad (Although when I asked S, he said he didnt notice, but then again, L is a girl, and S is a guy). She said she saw a few of them in Karrada. She also said that many of the big shots are frequenting these places. Somehow I found that hard to believe but at the same time, when I thought about it real hard, I decided that no, it really aint that hard to believe. Everyone wants to know what the future holds. Everyone especially the Iraqis.

This actually hit me when I was in NY. As I was walking in Greenwich Village, I realised I had passed 3 or maybe 4 psychic shops. There was this urge, this strong urge of me wanting to go inside, but then I got scared. I guess I didnt want to know. I didnt want to know what my future holds for me. I didnt want to be shocked. Although many times so called psychics, fortunetellers speak in general terms, other times they really do have the gift of knowing. Our Quran has a verse (Kathabal munajimoon walaw sadaqoo) which translates into, even if the astrologers are correct, one shouldnt believe them. Which basically tells us that there are people out there who can be correct. I dunno why I have this fear inside of me. I wasnt like that when I was younger. Infact, I used to jump at every opportunity, I would go to anyone a friend recommends. Last time I went to one was about 4 years back. And man was she spot on. At the time her words were meaningless, I remember I left her place feeling down and very disappointed as she didnt really tell me what I wanted to know. I asked her about my career and she kept talking about some marriage I was going to go into, Lol... I didnt even know HUBBY then, but did she predict things right. Wow...

So now after 4 years, I had the urge, but refused to give in. I have alot of questions that need answers, alot of important questions, but I realised I will leave it to destiny. Destiny is my best bet here. Reason why Im writing about this today, is because of a few incidents that is taking presedence here in the UAE. Yes, Ive been here for a few days now, visiting with my family and will be going back to Baghdad soon.

Apparantely some people from Africa (similar to the spam emails we tend to get) are calling mobile phone users using verses from the Quran and tricking people into paying them. It actually happened to someone I know. T's phone rang only once. He saw a missed call and called the number back. A man answered using some verses from the Quran then told T, that during his sleep he dreamt of his mobile number and that God told him that this person needs to pay him 4,500 DHS that are due (yeah some bullshit like that). T knew this was a trick and so told the guy ok, I will pay you the amount if only you can tell me my full name and my mom's name, if what you say is true. The weird man kept stuttering and said I swear by god that he told me to call you and that you have dues. T hung up. Apparantely T wasnt the first nor the last. Atleast T got away with it, but there are others who fell in the trap, believed and paid.

My question here, with all the technology and the advancement that our world is in, with all the knowledge and philosophy we have, are we still naive when it comes to astrologers and so called people of God??? Does this naivity stem from fear??? Our fear??? Or is it simply a matter of curiousity??? Going back to L's story, she said that while she was in the shop adjacent to the "fattah falla" (fortuneteller) a huge man with some arms came in. She asked him to point the gun down as he was scaring her, he told her that he is part of some minister's entourage who is visiting with the fortunteller. I dunno why I dont believe that a minister would be going to visit a psychic shop in the middle of a danger zone, when he can easily get him or her in the comfort of his own home, but then again, weird things do happen in Iraq.

I wander did the minister get his answers? Was he satisfied??? Will anyone ever know the future of Iraq and Iraqis??? Can anyone in this world predict whats gonna happen next??? I doubt it, I doubt it very much. Had there been a crystal ball available to Bush and Saddam will they still do what they have done??? What do you think? Will Iraq still be in this mayhem and will the Iraqis still die like theyre dying today in the hundreds of thousands??? I wish I had a crystal ball...A Foreseeable Crystal Ball...
posted by neurotic_wife at 12:53 AM 7 comments

July 16, 2007

NY NY, The city that never sleeps...

Its surprising how bowel movements change with different countries youre in. Yup, thats right Ive decided to give politics amiss for awhile and discuss my bowel movement (I think everyone will agree that its a good idea). When in London, I had a severe case of diarreah, eeewww I know. Maybe I should blame it on the darn french restaurant my friend S took me to. And no, no pun intended for it being French, so please dont start. S, who doesnt really order meat dishes, decided for some reason to order lamb. Just the smell was off putting. As she tasted it, she realised that something tasted funny, and so I took a bite too. It was disgusting.

We returned the dish back and all of a sudden miss Headwaitress charges along and says "what eeeez wrooooooong wiz zis dish madame?" S said, it tastes funny and I would like to order something else. HW said "But zees iz zeee signature of zee house, it iz zeee best dish and I tasted it, zeee chef made an excellent job" I couldnt take it any longer who cares about what her own taste buds likes or dislikes, and said well, the lamb tasted dirty, its not the way we cook it, we clean it well" and as I was about to discuss with her the "Iraqi" way of cooking lamb, my friend just cut me off and said its ok, I just want a salad please. Needless to say, they charged us for the dish.

In New York it was a different case. I couldnt go to the bathroom for 3-4 days!!! It reached a painful stage, and so I decided that maybe if I eat more, there wont be any place for the food left except ummm the bathroom. Sorry I know Im disgusting you, for Im disgusting myself. Anyways, the junk food marathon began, from the yummy Pizzas to the icecream, to whatever else I can eat. By day 4, no No2 and I thought I was gonna explode. Miraculously, my bowel movement finally decided to MOVE, yaaaaaay...

My New York trip was just amazing. I wasnt looking forward to the interrogation that I thought was awaiting me at JFK especially after the last experience I had when travelling to the States. But this time, even though I did end up in that small waiting room, it took them 30 mins to process me. I didnt believe it, and kept asking the lady if Im really done and that she is sure I can leave, lol. I couldnt wait to throw away that horrible nicorrette gum I was chewing the whole flight (I bought from Boots in London)to stop me craving for a cigarrette. Minute I went outside, I reached for my cigarrettes, and OMG, it was almost orgasmic. I took a NY cabbie, and off we went into Manhattan. On the way and to my surprise, I noticed a blue Mosque and the Al Khoie Foundation. As we reached the hotel, Times Sq was already in full swing, and my excitement grew.

NY was, WOW, and double WOW. I loved it. I absolutely loved everything about it. Last time I was there was in 1995, and I can barely remember a thing because at the time my dad got sick and we wanted to stay with him, hence we didnt really get to see much. But this time, it was just utterly amazing. I felt like a school girl again, experiencing everything for the first time. I would walk really slow just so I can saviour the moment. I would stand and just stare at the buildings. I would go to Central park or the park next to the financial center and just lie down or sit up and watch lovers cuddling and kissing, or families playing frizbee. There was a sense of freedom about the whole experience.

I chose NY mainly cuz I wanted to check out NYU incase I decided to go for my dream. I really wanted to go back to studying, studying journalism. Something I have been wanting to do for a long long time now. I also have always asked HUBBY to take me there, but he kept saying not now not now, when we settle in the States then we will go there. So this time, as part of finding my inner peace and tranquility, NY was my choice. So much for tranquility though, NYC was buzzing. Although Im not a big fan of busy crowded places, I found myself enjoying the crowds. Maybe the fact that I needed a change from the depressing environment of the GZ changed my views. Or maybe just because it was NY and thats what makes NY so special made me enjoy it.

A must see on my list was Ground Zero. As the sweat trickled down my face on that scorchingly hot day, an airy feeling filled me up as I stood there staring at the sight before me. I cant really put what I felt in words. A sense of sadness??? A sense of disbelief???A sense of remorse??? I dunno, but it definitely was something I havent felt before. I walked abit and then stood under the plaque of the names of victims. Husbands, wives, children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends. Everyone that lost their life that day had a story. My mind immediately switched to the daily victims in Iraq. Atleast in NY, the names are on a plaque, in Iraq, many of the dead are nameless. Charred, unidentifiable bodies with no names, unknown identities.

The trip wouldnt be complete without visiting King Kong's home. The Empire State Bldg. Although I didnt like the attitude of the security personnel, their harsh faces and rude attitude didnt make me feel comfortable at all. But nevertheless, the view was stunning. I opted for the 102nd floor, and waited abit longer inorder to see NY at night. As the lights came on slowly, I couldnt help but compare the darkness of the haunted Baghdad streets. The best thing about the Baghdad nights are not the long forgotten lights that dont exist anymore because of the lack of electriciy, but the beautiful stars that light the whole sky up. I have travelled to many places, yet till this day I never saw any sky as beautiful as the Baghdad sky. No NY lights can ever compare to the dazzling Baghdadi Sky no matter how breathtaking the view was.

Despite all the fun I had, I realised that I truly missed HUBBY. He would have loved NY, and enjoyed it as much as I did. But I needed this trip. I needed to have some me time without the stress of work. All in all, it was a good trip. I definitely will visit NY again. I fell in love with it. And just like Frank Sinatra sang : I wanna wake up in a city, that doesnt sleep And find Im king of the hill - top of the heap. New York New York, the city that never sleeps...

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posted by neurotic_wife at 10:30 AM 14 comments

July 14, 2007

Pure Eternal Peace...

I got this link from my bro, who wrote on one line in his email "she is really good". Yes bro, I have to agree with you, she is, BUT and theres a big but, she gave no solution to the situation. NOTHING, NADA, ZILCH. She is very outspoken and her words are extremely ellaborate, and eloquent but did she tell me anything new? She put all the blame on the US, some are founded others I dont agree with at all. She placed her accusations towards the US rightly so if she means the unplanned post war tactics, but not only that, she stood by the so called "resistance". What kind of ideology is that??? She is as bad as Maliki who in his speech today, said "we are capable of defending our country without the help of the US if they wish to leave anytime."

What crappy words. If the above statement is so true, why is it that dead bodies found on streets became the norm in Iraqis lives???If the above statement is so true, why is it that the militias are still kidnapping the innocents???If the above statement is true, why is it that the Al qaeda and so called honourable resistence are filling up dead bodies with explosives and leaving them at markets to kill scores and scores of innocent Iraqis??? IF THE DARN ABOVE STATEMENT IS TRUE, WHY IS IT THAT EVERY SINGLE IRAQI I WORK WITH WANTS TO LEAVE HIS BELOVED COUNTRY FOR A BETTER SECURE LIFE!!!!!!!!!

I am sick and tired, sick and tired of people having their own agendas yet speak in the tongue of the "Iraqi People". I am sick and tired of people getting paid to satisfy a certain niche of people in the name of the "Iraqi People". Yes bro, she is "really good", but to me, she is no one and nothing. Some of her words do have a sense of truth in it, infact I can say 20% of what she said, I can relate to, but the rest is as crappy as the Iraqi governments views. So what is the solution??? THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE FORCES??? Fine, let it be. Infact, I may be wrong after all, maybe if the forces leave, Iraqis will unite. Yeah, why not. Maybe Al Qaeda will leave us the heck alone and go kill some other poor nation. Yup, and the militias will dismantle, and everyone who left will come back to restart rebuilding their country YET AGAIN.

I am sorry, I do not agree. The war caused this shit, and so whoever caused it, must clean this shit. I dont give a damn how, but the job must be done. I had a conversation the other day with an American friend of mine about this issue. He said "Why should we suffer for a nation who doesnt care about its people, why should our own soldiers die", Im sorry if Im not quoting word by word, forgive me, for my memory sometimes does serve me wrong, but my answer to him was "Why is it always, that the Iraqi blood is cheaper than yours", "Why is it that millions of Iraqis are dying, and no one is doing anythng about it, and when the coalition forces numbers rise to a new benchmark of 2000, 3000 or more, the whole world cries???" WHY???

In her closing statement she spoke about peace. Where is this peace??? WHere can we find such peace if we have people like the Iranian Al Hakeem, Fanatic Muqtada, Barbaric Al qaeda, martyrs of the so and so group, jama'a of so and so gang, Iranian extremists, saudi thugs, syrian murderers, turkish opportunists, corrupt and rotten coalition forces???Infact not only is she as ignorant as the Iraqi government, she is as ignorant as Bush. Bush who plans, plans, plans, fails, fails, and fails. Bush who lies lies lies, promises, promises promises, just like the so called Iraqi PM who is frightened to take a step forward without Muqtada's support.

I wasnt even gonna write about politics for sometime, infact I was gonna write all about my NY trip, Yes I was in NYC, but no, I couldnt resist displaying my opinion here. I really couldnt. Maybe tomorrow, once I calm down, I will post all about my NYC experience and the pictures taken. But for now, I want a piece of that peace. I want that Pure, Eternal Peace...
posted by neurotic_wife at 10:37 PM 18 comments

July 04, 2007

Dead Emerald City...

"Bombs, Iraqi doctor held" Thats what I keep reading in every street I walk in, at every newsagent I pass. Yup Im in London. Its pretty upsetting to find out that an Iraqi would get involved in such horrid events. That just invigorated me more, because it means that the countries that were willing to take on the Iraqis who really are innocent and who really are suffering in Iraq, will back out. Thats it, all those coworkers of mine who are dreaming of a better live, of a second chance will no longer get their dream. Its gone, gone forever because of a stupid, selfish man.

As an Iraqi, Im appalled. Appalled at what these doctors were thinking. Why??? Why do this to the country that gave you a chance? Why do this to the people that extended their hands out to you and opened their arms and took you in??? WHY? What for???To hurt the government? Or to make a change in foreign policy??? I dont get it, I really dont. You cant achieve a thing by violence. Instead you are creating more havoc, more havoc and more hatred. And hatred, thats the last thing we need at the moment. The Middle east's image and the muslim image has already been tarnished especially after 911, we really didnt need anymore of that. We are regarded as terrorists no matter what our ideas and thoughts are as long as we are Arabs and/or Muslims. A misconception that was created by ignorance.

I really dunno how this is gonna effect the plight of all those Iraqis who really are innocent and who really need to get out of what has become the nasty Iraq, the hellish Iraq. A few days before I come here, a coworker of mine, B, a 50 something yr old woman came by giving out chocolate. Quality street chocolate. Usually, people give out chocolates if theres a celebration, either a birth of a baby, a wedding, or even a graduation. I knew that none of those applied to B, so as I took my favourate purple quality street chocolate, I asked what the occassion was. She said my Xrays showed no head injuries. I said what? What head injuries??? And as I looked at her face, I noticed bruises below her eyes. I freaked out. I asked her what had happened and this is what she told me.

B was queueing for fuel. After a few hours of waiting, her turn came up, and she started to fill her car up, a man, a man from the Iraqi police, asked her not to fill her car and to leave. She refused and being an Iraqi woman, she said to him in a sarcastic manner "what are you gonna do?Are you gonna hit me?Are you gonna hit an old lady???" The man, the so called Police man who is supposed to be there serving the people, took out a stick and struck B on the head. YES, he slammed the poor woman!!! The minute she told me this, my eyes welled up. I immeditaley imagined my mom being subjected to such behaviour and it angered the hell out of me. Can you imagine? Can you imagine a 50 yr old woman being hit by a stick???So tell me, tell me, who the hell is gonna protect B and the hundreds of thousands of Bs??? And with the recent events here in England, B and others like her are now stuck, stuck in no man's land.

My trip so far has been uneventful except maybe for discovering that my mobile phone has been stolen from my suitcase in Baghdad, bumping my head into a glass door in a restaurant thinking it was the exit, tripping over the steps from the double decker No 10 bus, and getting drenched in the rain because my made in china umbrella decided to fall apart at that specific moment. But no I aint complaining, had all this happend to me a year ago or even a few months back, you probably wouldnt hear the end of it, but right now, Im content, Im content that Im out of that prison. That same prison that Rajiv Chandrasekaran called the Emerald City in his book. I havent read the book yet but Im planning to. It will be my reading material on my way to the States. Yup Im gonna be in the States for a few days, not sure if thats good or bad. Anyhow, Emerald City or not, Im glad Im outta there for now...Out of that City, the Dead Emerald City...
posted by neurotic_wife at 3:29 AM 25 comments