Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Family Jewelaeys and Expence

BIAP (Baghdad International Airport) is an experience that you don't soon forget. From the lazy passport control personnel to the armed guards to the overdressed and over made up duty free clerks it just makes for some unforgettable sights.

In 2003 it was an unpowered dump that had seen better days back in the 70s when it was built by the French. In 2006 it is an underpowered dump that had seen better days back in the 70s when it was built by the French. The difference is that now the Iraqis actually use it for commercial travel. There is a real attempt here at normality. They go to great lengths to keep it as safe as possible and as normal as possible. It's still a bit unnerving though to see armed and unarmed Iraqis around without armed US Troops to keep order. I hope it a sign of things to come and that they can do this everywhere else. Speaking of signs.....

One of the sights that is commented on more than any other is this sign right before passport control. There are other signs around saying "No Photos" so I have never attempted to grab a pic of this sign but one of my friends with a PSD company took this and emailed it to me. Maybe the fact that he was packing serious gear deterred the locals from saying anything.

When you read this you will find one of the worst translations ever in a public place. It is full of grammatical errors, spelling errors, and in some cases is downright confusing. You can tell that it was not reviewed by a native English speaker before being posted. Anyway, read on and enjoy. Last time I came through I commented to one of my buddies that I was amazed that they didn't say anything about "Family Jewels". Now that would have been priceless.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Visiting BIAP was always a field trip to the funny farm. My favorite inmate was the Customs Supervisor. He was the elderly gent who sat by the departure kiosks (the place where you received your departure stamp for $1 or $10 or whatever spare change you had at the time).

Whenever I was passing through, I would look him right in the eye and give him a slightly-too-loud "Shakoo Makoo." He would light up, smiling like a Steinway with a couple of octaves missing. Pumping my hand, "Makoo shee," he would say, "Makoo shee. Have a trip save."

It was a ritual: every time I took the charter out I looked for him to get my blessing for a "trip save."

I hope he's there still.


9:57 PM  
Blogger Dave... said...

Hey man. Glad to see you're back, and through the firewalls.

I thought you'd gone and stopped posting again.

I'm liking the Kuwait James. You seem to have more to say and be more compelled to post.

12:17 AM  

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