Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Meena #2

Okay, so Meena and Thomas (Vorpahl, as I was corrected, and rightly so – my apologies, Thomas) had a great time in Cologne, and some difficulty saying goodbye when Meena had to leave for Istanbul. That’s good, honest stuff. Meena wanted me to say “merhaba” to the Patio crowd, which is an Arabic greeting meaning merhaba in Arabic, but we all know that already.

Meena has settled in quite nicely in her lavish suite of rooms a 15 minute walk from her job. She and her roomie, Sean, get along great and the same goes with Sean’s girlfriend, Kelly. Meena also apparently heard English spoken on the street when she was out walking off the anguish of Steve Irwin’s death. She engaged the two guys who were talking and found they were also ESL teachers, one of whom was a linguistics major who had just arrived in country. So, there’s evidence that she’s broadening her circle, which can only mean increased comfort and better adjustment. That’s how it goes overseas, especially for single travelers.

Here’s another international travel situation. Meena and Sean want to get wireless internet service in their flat. Here, you call the company and they come and install it. There, the school administrator contacts the landlord to discuss the matter. When Meena asks for a status report, she gets, “I have not yet been able to contact…” Yes, Istanbul is more Asian than European. On the positive side, every Arab friend of ours has told us that the food in Istanbul is fantastic. Meena reports that she has settled in at one of her local restaurants and that the food is great… and cheap! The equivalent of tapas and drinks for $5. Sounds like a bargain! Just like the Patio!

On a neighborhood note, Afghanistan is crashing hard. Bush’s only “victory” in this wasteful and ill-advised campaign is going away, and he’s going to leave office with absolutely nothing more than too many dead people, which is what you get when you give people guns and tell them to shoot other people. And why did Bush believe that the people of Afghanistan (who even I know better than Bush does) want to trade security for foreign domination. Deal with the devil you know, and that’s the Taliban, who are not going away (just as surely as Americans will). These guys have been around a long time.

And Iraq is even closer to Turkey (on its border), where the Turks are looking as carefully at the Kurds as are the Iranians. Getting a Kurdish state might be good all around because the Kurds being discriminated against by the Iranians and the Turks (less so will the EU looking at everything very closely) will have their own Israel, and the parallel may not be lost on the Kurds, Muslim or not. A Kurdish state, however, will mean a failure in Iraq, the other state that the new Kurdish state will be carved out of. That leaves a three state solution in Iraq: Shi’i in the south, with the capital in Karbala; the Sunnis in the north, with Baghdad; and then the Kurds wherever they alight. So if that happens, how are we better than the Brits, gerrymandering borders for their own purpose. Two states with jack-shit, and one -- the Shi'i one -- rich beyond belief with all of Iraq's known oil reserves. And while there is no love lost between Arabs and Iranians, they are both Shi'i, and both would be rich. All I know is that there will be no Iraq if this happens, so what was Bush doing there in the first place! I never heard the eradication of Iraq as the goal of Bush's policy... did you?

The guys are stupid or crazy, and some are both. Pin a tail on the donkey of your choice.


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