Saturday, September 30, 2006

Some Poolside Thoughts

Most nights I after work here I go out to the Palace pool to read, write, or otherwise unwind (Tuesday's are MWR's poker night) and avoid my roommate. He is not a bad guy, but he has two extremely annoying habits: first, he apparently requires more sleep than any other human alive, going to sleep at 2130, and waking at 0700 the next morning. Also, when he watches a comedy on television, he for some reason needs to repeat every joke after laughing at it. (i.e. "He fell out of the tree!!!") Again, he's not a bad guy, and most importantly, he doesn't snore, so I don't have to suffer the same hell as my friend Malia, who is currently deployed in Afghanistan, and has to sleep in the hallway some nights because of her roommate's snoring.

The other night I was sitting and reading and saw a group of some twenty Iraqi officials being escorted through the area, likely on their way back from an Iftar dinner at the Palace. (Iftar is the nightly feast that breaks each day's fast during Ramadan). I wondered what their reaction could possibly be to the groups of tattooed enlistedmen splashing in the pool, to other groups of military and State personnel scattered on lawn chairs around the pool, or to the nurses from the health clinic playing volleyball in their bikini tops yards away from what used to be Saddam's office? Do they appreciate the irony of a singer strumming an anti-war anthem on his guitar during "Open Mike" night, while at the same time a MEDEVAC helicopter flies overhead, rushing wounded to the Combat Support Hospital?