A young man's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk...and apparently, back again.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

The details of my life are quite inconsequential, really. Summers in Rangoon...luge lessons...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmaas Tabrik!

Even the lawyers got into the spirit

Yeah, so the title may seem outdated...but any good historian (and these days it takes a historian) can tell you that the Twelve Days of Christmas only started on December 25th.  Besides, the phrase is cool in Dari, especially when pronouncing it "Kris-MAAS"...that's how I greeted people the past few days.  And I had a few more pics to post anyway, before rambling on with my latest late-night thoughts...

A secret Santa surprised me with a leg lamp stocking...
"Not a fingah!"

One last smirk as Sgt Slaughter before the shave.

Carved roast beast

Served by a row of Navy Senior Chiefs, who I told:
LCDR "Slappy the Squid" Huvane will never believe this!

Let them eat cake, eh?

So, the mother of all western holidays is a couple of days in the rearview mirror...even in the States, most people have furiously moved on from 12/25 with puzzling speed; much less here, where it feels like it never came in the first place.  Still, I was hoping to provide a rare back-to-back pair of posts, and would have done so if events requiring my attention didn't rapidly take over, and crush what little time I had left at the end of each day (i.e. 0200 hours).  The snafu which I wrote about at the end of an exhausting 24th picked right back up again the next day -- I believe you call it Santa Day, or Discount Shopping Eve? -- and has continued to dog me and a host of others as we try to actually attend to other business.  Although it's pretty amusing to learn of who else is involved in the back-and-forth now between a rogue general removed from his post and the Defense Ministry.  As his friend and mine is the spokesperson for the ministry, it creates an odd situation, to say the least...especially when the process I'm advising ends up edited by President Karzai himself for release (unbeknownst to me at the time).  Craziness.

"I will write this release for you, AfghaniDan."
"Kojak? Is that you?"

The calendar marches on, matter how much I feel still needs to be done.  I'm staring at a compressed time of just days, and feeling very mixed emotions over it.  I am beyond eager to see my family, to lift the kids who were babies when I saw them last, to re-acquaint myself with old friends, to laugh about the shenanigans I missed, to tell the stories I haven't yet, to properly toast -- again and again -- my friend who has left this world, and the brave badasses who took the fight to the enemy in unforgiving mountains and deserts here.

We were all sportin' the 'stache at some point...

...and then there was one, mi primo O'Neill-Hernandez.
The "Highlander" of NTM-A PAO moustaches.

But I am truly sad to be leaving, at the same time.  I've made friends here who I'll sorely miss, learned something new every day, enjoyed seeing the world once again through a completely different lens, and grown comfortable with pushing back those who would thwart the development in progress of our Afghan colleagues just so that they can impress their bosses and score a higher evaluation rating.  Someone's got to stand in the doorway with a bat, or a hockey stick, when the "good idea fairy" comes calling.

Canuck mini-tree, with the hockey pencils I loved as a kid.

Canadian General Beare, Afghan General Karimi and U.S. General Patton (yeah, really) serve the troops chow in "the Goat."

"What's that? You want meat that's NOT camel??"

Oddly lighter in the upper's a Festivus miracle!

Christmaas Tabrik, Camp Eggers...


Blogger yomistast said...

Merry Christmas, Jagran and Happy New Year! It is probably 2011 in Kabul right now, which just means that you are closer to coming home. We all miss you, the kids, Hope, my cell phone plan when texting about the gmen, the devils or blazing saddles lines. Stay safe and we'll see you soon!

December 31, 2010 at 3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo Zulu, Senior Chiefs! Slappy the Squid would like to (once again) tweak a great Saddles line and say, "I ... am ... im-pressed."

And I also love that you've already arranged for a building in Camp Eggers (Gonzalez Annex) to be named after Red Sox Nation's newest hero :)

Merry Belated Christ-maas!

January 5, 2011 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Major Dan said...

Timmy, even if I was home, I wouldn't be texting about the #$%! Devils. Or the G-men now, for that matter. But Blazing Saddles, most definitely. I regularly exclaim in meetings, "Give the governor a harrumph!"

January 6, 2011 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Major Dan said...

Slap, am most excited about the addition of Gonzo and UnCrazy Carl. I'll send a pic of Crawford House next post...

January 6, 2011 at 10:45 AM  

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