Friday, February 28, 2014

She said she was just thinking about it...

Rambling Post #255
Life shouldn't be stagnant. We should all sally forth and attack this experience with wonder and excitement, drinking in every drop of life not through a straw but in hefty quaffs that leave us out of breath for the next surprise. Or something like that. But they did just open up a Krispy Kreme store like just up the street, so maybe I'll get to quaffing life like next week. Week after for sure.

Art by Adam Hughes
A few years ago, my girl Spanky up and went to Scotland for a job. She did just over twelve months in a town small enough to fit into a high school baseball stadium, then came back with pockets fat enough to deck out her house, then under renovations, in one quick swoop through the furniture district.  I toured it via Google Maps (they go everywhere) and it looked absolutely charming. I was a wee bit envious.

So she hits me up last Wednesday with this message she's gotten via email from some company. She was looking for a new gig (we're all looking for new gigs) and so when they "found" her resume on the internet and contacted her, she was quick to send them back a fresh copy. Cool beans I thought. Then she said she was gonna have to leave the country again, but the money was great. Knowing the less than romantic situation from which she has been inexplicably unable to extricate herself, I thought maybe this wouldn't be the worst idea. Overseas, see the world, etc. From Scotland she'd visited London, Paris, and other places that broaden the mind. Bully! So I asked her where was going. Cabal, she says. I ask her again, because I've never heard of it and got ready to look it up. She says it again and I catch on.

Kabul. As in Kabul, Afghanistan.

If were possible to look at somebody like they were crazy over the phone, I think I pulled it off. But, my mind kicked in, probably happy for the diversion, and said to check it out before passing judgement, it might be a huge base with movie theaters and one of them golf course setups. So I checked out her given destination. Looked at a couple of blogs, checked out a few videos, read a few articles. Let's see, 3,000 people, housed, with offices and all other base facilities in a space 1000 x 650 feet, in downtown Kabul. No off-base for security reasons. Rooms in shipping containers. They just had a suicide bomber in January. Hmmmm, how much money again? The term "shitload" popped into my head. I sent all this to Spanky, suggesting she consider it all before making up her mind.

So last Sunday when Spanky, Serve and [nickname forthcoming] and I went to West Egg for a late brunch, I was a little suprised when she announced that she'd made up her mind that she was going, and that she'd already sent them the paperwork. She said she'd spoken with her family, had looked at all the pictures and was prepared for whatever came. Wow.

By the way, they serve brunch all day at West Egg on Sundays, and they ain't even playing.

Now, Spanky can be impulsive. And since when she makes a decision, then sticks with it and if you're not with her 100% then you're her sworn enemy, it gets a little awkward at times. With that in mind, I raised my objections, but the opportunity was flashing before her eyes and she didn't even notice. Yes, she says she's prepared to be trapped on a teeny tiny base in a country that now might not even have Americans after next year. Her contract was supposed to be for three years, which now seems less cute when before it just an ugh feeling. I suggested she start learning some foreign languages.

Later after Spanky and Serve had split,  me and [nickname forthcoming] had a long conversation about the whole thing. My concept was, in a nutshell, that three years in Kabul would fundamentally change Spanky. Which [nickname forthcoming] on the whole thought wouldn't be the worst thing. But in think what the girl needs at best is a little tinkering, and this expedition would be more of a complete overhaul. Spanky can get "testy" at times and one of the descriptions I read described the place as a minimum security prison like atmosphere. That kind of living I understand has a tendency to bring either the best or worst in a person, so I'm not sure how that's gonna play out. Plus it's dangerous.

A few years ago Slim broke out for the Middle East - Qatar - because it was technically safer than her house in Atlanta (that's not a joke). Last year she said that she and the new hubby might be moving to Bermuda and invited me for a visit, the new hubby being another American she met while out there. And Spanky has been desperate to get married. What are the odds another one of my crew would run into the same luck? 

Barkeep. I need a box, figured I'd help my girl Spanky out by taking care of her alcohol while she was away. Big box. Um, bigger than that.

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