Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mayhem - No Photos

Today was high adventure. We were coming through a very heavily armed check point leading into the Green Zone; me and a local driver leading in our Mercedes, and my Scottish partner, Sean, following in a problematic Chevrolet. Exiting the checkpoint we got out ahead of Sean a little too far when I heard him yelling on the radio to come back quickly and to bring a fire extinguisher.

We spun the car around and ran back to him, all the while digging the fire extinguisher out from under the seat. I found him stopped in the middle of the road, directly in front of the British Embassy with smoke pouring out from the car. The 5-6 ex-Gurkha embassy guards were in a mad panic because they thought that it was a failed car bomb about to suddenly right itself. Sean was desperately trying to reach me on his car radio, but that was dead due to the power failure of the stalled car. At the same time he was trying to get to a fire extinguisher, but it was locked in the trunk that had an electric latch as well. Half of the Gurhkas were running and diving for any available cover, the other half had sighted their weapons on Sean. Other cars coming through the checkpoint were reversing out at full speed back toward the heavily armed US military guards, who were now deeply concerned as well. Sean was trying to tell the Gurhkas that he wasn’t a Scottish Jihadist and not to shoot as the electrical fire in the Chevrolet continued to smoke and burn. It was fucking mayhem!!

Finally everyone calmed down, and we arrived to tow the car from in front of the Embassy to the garage. It’s funny now, but at the time it was fairly stressful.

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