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Showing posts from July 12, 2009

Music at the Laundry

Three or four days each week I drop off or pick up clothes at a laundry run by three young men from India. It's a great serve. Drop off up to 20 pieces and 1 to 3 days later it returns clean and folded. The three men are polite and soft spoken. They almost always have music on while they work. Mostly it is Indian music, usually upbeat and not too loud. Today while I was sorting and counting my clothes with the guy at the counter, I noticed the music was different. The beat was calypso. Then I heard the words. Or at least I heard the word motherf#^ker repeated several times. I turned toward the music and the two guys who were sorting a large pile of laundry. One smiled and said, "You like sir?" I smiled back and started laughing. The guy at the counter speaks English well and said something that got the other two laughing--and they turned the song down.
I went back to my CHU and told my roommate about the song. He knew right away that the song was "P.…

Stress in a War Zone

A few days ago I went to a meeting at the base chapel about stress. In particular "Does your family back home raise or lower your stress level?" Since this was a group discussion about stress, I could assume people who were stressed out would attend. I was not quite prepared for how much soldiers are stressed out by their families back home. For much of the hour, I listened to folks who dread the calls home because their parents/significant others are worried sick about them and can't be easily persuaded to talk about anything else. (My family does what they can to keep me informed about their lives and tell me some of the funny things that happen in their lives.)

The conversation that got the most nods of recognition was telling Mom that the attack in Baghdad they saw on TV was 300 miles away and had nothing to do with our base. And once they get Mom calmed down, things will be fine until the next time Mom watches the news then they have to go through the same litan…