Some days around here you have to be careful what you complain about. A couple days ago the guys and I had just complained about how boring it was that morning, and then BOOM!, off goes another bomb just a few blocks away. Strangely enough, I heard it muffled in the background, but didn’t even take notice, but Roger was the one who said, “Was that a bomb?...” We all looked around the room at each other, pondering his question, and then finally said, “Yeah…. I guess that was.” And without missing a beat, went back to work without even opening the door to see what happened. Heck, no one even got out of their seat for that matter… nor was another word spoken about it. (It’s a surreal world we live in here.)
About an hour and a half later, someone called my shop. Roger answered, but couldn’t understand a word he was saying so he gave the phone to me. Now, I won't go into detail about what was said or what exactly occurred, because I am sensitive to the fact that my family – and particularly my kids – read this blog, so I’ll just say it was VERY suspicious. And rather than act on what I was told to do in that phone conversation, I questioned him on several fronts, stalled him, and then notified the authorities. Before we knew it, the gentleman at the other end of the phone call was gone. Crisis averted. What really bothers me about all this is that, this time, it directly involved me. This was not some incident I heard about second-hand, or some “boom” I heard down the street. It was “right there” in front of me and I had to deal with it. This whole "suspicious" episode encompassed about an hour of time, and it was exhilarating, frustrating, and frightening, all-in-one. By the time it was all over I was exhausted. But when we finally knew that the coast was clear, the guys and I decided that we would no longer complain about being bored. *smile*
Despite the threats of that morning, the day went on as usual (finally) and by lunch time, I had taken Roger and Wes back to Bakhtar Jewelry for a full-course Afghan meal that Ismatullah and Abdul were preparing for us. Inside their little shop there, they brought in home-cooked delicacies, like beef and chicken kabob, a rice/beef/spices/grapes combo in a big bowl, another spicy meat wrapped into what looked like a fillet, and then lots and LOTS of fire-oven-cooked Afghan bread. (and of course, once again, LOTS of green tea! *smile*) They both spread out a nice table cloth over their jewelry counter, brought in fancy plates and silverware, set out the chairs, and made a nice spread. You can tell by the pictures, this was no small meal. This is the way Afghans congregate or, in our case, “negotiate” when doing business. I have brought just about everyone from my unit into their shop now, and they’ve all purchased various items, but the ironic thing is I haven’t yet. I guess you could say that I’m working on what they refer to as my “friend price” and maybe at some point I can afford to actually buy something there. Either way, I love sitting and chatting with them. They’re incredible people.
Things at work have been busy… and to add to our hectic schedule, we’ve recently discovered some additional duties that we’re supposed to perform that we weren’t told about by the outgoing unit. *frown* A critical data link for a "key office" (can't say who) went down at the end of the month because their crypto expired and….. well…. we fixed it once we were frantically made aware of it. Add it to the list I suppose. Also, I have resigned myself to the fact that there is no such thing as an 8-hour day…. It just doesn’t work…. Minimum 12… most of the time 15-16 now… but that’s still better than before, and besides!... What would I do with my extra time here anyway? *smile* Ok…. Don’t answer that. *lol*
Praying for more “boring” days ahead….
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