Saturday, October 6, 2007


A little boy fixes the chain on his bike amid the garbage-filled streets

We travel back and forth to the airport several times a week, dropping people off for flights out of the country and picking others up. If we get a chance we’ll normally stop at the military’s Post Exchange (PX) within one of the large camps and grab some Burger King, Subway, or Pizza Hut for lunch.

Every trip comes with a shopping list from both the media teams and the Iraqi staff. The westerners are pretty straight forward, cases of Red Bull, Starbucks, Oreos, Pop Tarts, etc… The Iraqis on the other hand only want one thing, socks.

We buy dozens upon dozens of pairs of white cotton athletic socks on every PX run and bring them back to the Iraqi staff. They’re $5.00 for a package of 6 so it’s no great effort. As soon as we get back they’re like baby birds in the nest, hovering around for their packet of socks.

On closer examination socks are an oddity here. The locals wear sandals everyday, no matter if they’re getting dressed up to go out someplace or just hanging around the house. I’ll stop here and not get into a vivid description of their feet, but you can only imagine what a lifetime of wearing sandals in the dessert is like. It’s not pretty.

No comments: