Archive for September, 2008

Royal Flush

September 20, 2008

leg3

September 2008     Kabul, Afghanistan

Unfortunately this story takes place in a septic tank, but that is not really what it is about.  And I do not mean to debase this unfortunate dude by making light of his station in life, but I might not last long if I cannot find some dark humor in what goes on around here. (more…)

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Summer in the ‘stan

September 20, 2008

August 2008     Kabul. Afghanistan

We live in a big house in the city, with 12-foot walls, razor wire, a heavy front gate, a couple of security guys and a driver, and a good cook, Fariba. She has a cooking show on local tv, and she makes me eat my vegetables. I cannnot state enough how much this place needs a woman’s touch. It is like a fraternity house, minus the beer, the girls and the music. It is functional and well-stocked, but not presentable. It is an outpost. (more…)

Greetings From Kabul

September 20, 2008

July 2008     Kabul, Afghanistan

It is a hot, dry, windy place, with a brown hazy sky, dust tornadoes, and streets paved with rocks. Many of the houses have running water, and most have electricity most of the time. Bombed-out buildings, minefields, craters, and mangled Soviet armor here and there. Helicopter gunships rattle the rooftops, two at a time. Elderly Russian transport planes sag across the sky, then sometimes spiral in towards the airfield at an aggressive angle, just in case anyone out in the hills feels like taking a shot. It is a little unnerving to unexpectedly plummet into Kabul, while on a long-expired commercial airplane entirely full of bearded guys in robes. (more…)

Field Trip: Afghanistan

September 20, 2008

May 2008

On June 1st, I am relocating to Kabul, Afghanistan to work as a paramedic. I will be located within the Green Zone, in the civilian sector of the city, working for an Australian contracting company. The job does not involve going out on the roads with the convoys, or going out to get any wounded. We are not working directly with the military, and Kabul is not nearly as violent as Baghdad, so I expect mostly medical work and not lot of trauma. The contract is three months on, one month off, renewable if things go well. (more…)

It’s Never Out of Season!

September 20, 2008

May 2008     Marin County, California

If you do not want to know how meat starts out running around on hooves and ends up glistening on your plate, then this little gem is not for you. Go back to your US Weekly or practice your golf game or whatever. And for those of you into multiculturalism and celebrating diversity, I say this: Respect my people. This here’s culture hey goddamn! Pull up a fork! Git ‘er done!! (more…)

Honest

September 20, 2008

February 2008

Some friends of mine from L.A. (Lower Alabama) were at their hunting cabin to get after some wild boar, as usual. They waited to take delivery of a truckload of firewood. (more…)

Night Shift (part one)

September 20, 2008

January 2008     San Francisco

Working the overnight shift on the ambulance is good and bad.  Not much supervision, no traffic, maybe some sleep, but the freaks and junkies come out at night and sometimes the wee hours bring out the weird in all of us.

Taking home a very large black woman to the Western Addition projects in time for Thanksgiving wasn’t so bad. I’m not sure if the elevator worked or not, but it was being used for storage, and she lived on the third floor. Ah, gravity. (more…)

New York City Travel Advisory

September 20, 2008

December 2007     New York City

This colorful dispatch comes in from our man on the East Coast, PJV. (Edited and re-printed here without permission.)

Tuesday morning I was in a cab, late for a meeting, staring out the window and trying to keep it all together as my drunkenness slowly converted to hangover. Traffic was gridlocked so the cab was in park. I found myself mesmerized by a trash tornado that was swirling the debris on the street into the air. This whole image of floating garbage was soothing, but in the background, something evil was brewing. (more…)