Monday, August 30, 2010

I will go eat baklava soon to get better.

Feeling a bit weak in the knees from the morning – heat, hunger, thirst, movement, blood loss (at a hospital; on purpose; required tests) - not to mention getting so deep into a novel that you forget where you are – all these factors loosen your joints.

I went – I was taken – to the Department of the Interior’s residency office today to begin the application for my ID card. Before going I had so much work to do and only time for two quick sips of milk-coffee. And then once there – it’s Ramadan – you just don’t want to drink water or eat out in the open when everyone else is fasting. We went – I was dragged – from office to office (I lost count after the 7th) and they took my phone, took my photo, took my blood, and chatted on with my colleague in Arabic or Kurdish. The heat was stifling but the offices were cool enough. Then we drove drove drove to another place, to a shiny blue hospital for a second blood test. The hospital was lovely but the nurse was a bit of a sadist as he tied my arm up tight, and then chatted for a while with his buddies, waving the needle around in front of my eyes. I know he didn’t mean anything by it but it HURT like a son of a witch. When they took my photo, it printed out one layer at a time. First there was me all yellow. Then yellow-red. Me yellow-red-blue. Me totally. In living color. It was like the old printing presses that Mr. Rogers went to visit in his neighborhood, that you watched on TV as a kid.

In between the offices and the giving and the taking, I was deep into a novel. I was in Florida right after World War II.


  1. I'm sure it must be tough with the heat and the lack of food during the days. I wonder why they need the blood samples. Dept. of Interior's residency? Interesting name for an ID Card issuing agency :-)

    And Baklava! Have one for me too :-)

  2. Oh, ha, it's a residency card, like a visa. I wrote that wrong :)

    They need blood samples because (a) every visitor to Iraq needs to get an HIV test and (b) I didn't know my blood type (whoops) and need to know it for my work ID card...

    I will eat enough baklava for everyone on earth this year, not worries :) :) :)

  3. Aah! Now that makes sense. Which book took you to Florida at the time of WW II btw?

  4. :) I love talking novels. It was okay, maybe not my favorite book ever -- called "What I Saw and How I Lied". I'm about to start reading the third book in the series "The Hunger Games" which I am sooooooo excited to read.