Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Bazaar Day

The weekend of half-work-days continues. After church this morning, I went shopping at the Iraqi Bazaar. On Saturdays and Sundays they allow some of the local nationals to come in (under escort, of course) and set up shop. They have a lot of the same items as the "official" concessionaires, but they are much more willing to bargain. They also have some items that can't be purchased at the exchange, such as DVD titles. For example, a 10-DVD set containing the first 5 seasons of the TV show "24" would have only cost me $45 if I had bought it. I'm wondering if Iraq has any laws about copyright infringement. On the way to the bazaar I passed by the outdoor pool, another relic of the old Iraqi air base. There was quite a bit of a party going on there, with music, people diving off the 3 and 5 meter platforms, a water volley-ball game, and people generally having a good time. It's sort of surreal seeing such an atmosphere in the middle of a military base in a war zone; certainly a detachment from reality. It was another hot day (106 again, I think) and I probably would have been tempted to join in if (a) I had a swimsuit, and (b) I didn't look scary in my swimsuit. I think I'm above the target age range for this type of party. I think I'll ask my wife to fix (a) but I'll stick to doing laps in the indoor pool. In a continuation of the Memorial Day weekend tradition I've carried through on in the last two posts, I'll close with some lyrics we sung at the service this morning.
My country,' tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing; land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims' pride, from every mountainside let freedom ring! My native country, thee, land of the noble free, thy name I love; I love thy rocks and rills, thy woods and templed hills; my heart with rapture thrills, like that above. Let music swell the breeze, and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song; let mortal tongues awake; let all that breathe partake; let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong. Our fathers' God, to thee, author of liberty, to thee we sing; long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light; protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

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