What I’ve Learned

June 8, 2008 at 3:17 pm 1 comment

in the last monthish..


The stock market lost 400 points a few days ago, on high oil prices and news of a rise in unemployment. Huge font at the New York Times.

 I’m nuts about a girl in New York. I want to move there eventually. There are many other reasons too. But I would like to think coincidence is more than just coincidence, something stopped can start again, the third act can become a new play,  and somethings are just meant to be. 


 There is a scene in Hot Shots Part Deux! where the president of the United States, played by the late and great Lloyd Bridges, gets into a light sabers fight with Saddam Hussein, who talks in with a Vader-like voice.

Last night, a Debab, or minibus driver, asked me where I was from. Then he said he loved me and he loved America. Then he said, sarcastically I hope, ‘Saddam, mush tamaam. I kill Iraqis!’ A few of the riders seemed to get a kick out of it. I felt like crying.

Debabs run as late as 11:30 on Friday nights.

I am sorry for so many things that are done in the name of the country I was born in, the country I miss.

Chuck D taught me as much about American history as any teacher I’ve ever had. And I listened to him more than the others.

One of the five books I brought to Aden was ‘Imagined Communities’ by Benedict Anderson. I also brought ‘Orientalism’.

The British had control of Aden for one hundred and fifty years.

The president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has the Madrassa equivalent of a sixth-grade education. His two predecessors were deposed, and at least one of them was executed.

His security detail rivals that of George W. Bush.

Seera Castle, or Qala’a Seera, is a [most likely] Turkish fort that the Portuguese used. It’s on top of a very high ridge. There is an 18th century latrine in the main fort. Instead of a bucket or something else to catch the waste, there is just a hole with a view of the town below.

People take shits at the Seera Castle, in the dark corners. It smells there. Guards also patrol the area because it overlooks Ali Abdullah Saleh’s private ridge. Yesterday they weren’t there.

There is an IKEA in Saudi Arabia.


Entry filed under: Arabish, fatigue, flowers and stars, Middle East, Yemen. Tags: , , , .

Is he going to steer our convoy in a different direction? sana’a 1

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. E.Moo  |  June 9, 2008 at 9:46 am

    i like your blog, and i’m starting to see why people like blog entries that are written in list form. It feels like the closest to how thoughts work, one after the other. Hope your time in Yemen continues to bring more learning.


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