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Mideast tour: I finally put some flat objects in my scanner

September 24, 2007

Now settled in after my Mideast tour, I’ve finally found time to scan some souvenirs.

I bought this greeting card in Kuwait. It came from a whole line of greeting cards featuring cute cartoon burqa-clad women and dishdasha-clad men doing things like barbecuing, riding on a magic carpet, and in one case, being visited by space aliens.

In Djibouti, I found myself saving everything that said “Djibouti” on it. Iced coffee is not well-known outside America, but the hotel staff at the Djibouti Kempinski was quite enthusiastic about making me one (for what looks on the receipt like $700!) The beverage I received was laden with heavy cream and had been strained over ice, but was served sans ice, making its temperature only infinitesimally lower than that of the hotel at large. Like a cool bath. In a glass.

I purchased a bowl decorated with elephants at this shop in Djibouti. The proprietors were really adamant about giving me their business card, which had been faintly xeroxed and badly cut, but basically got the message out about HAPPY SHOP. And now it’s on my blog! So next time you’re in, say, Somalia, go ahead and take a detour to Djibouti. The bowls are great.

There is a coin shortage on US military bases. Instead of actual metal currency, you receive these cardboard “pogs” as change. Annoying! I’m stuck with seventy-five cents’ worth. I’m going to mail them to my mom so she can see if they’ll take them at the Navy Exchange back home. I’ve always wanted to buy my mom a pack of gum.

These are my alcohol ration cards from the Army bases in Qatar and Djibouti. There’s a three-drink a day limit, although that seems to be something of a formality for performers, perhaps especially female performers. I think I could have obtained really as much alcohol as I personally desired to consume.

Just add meat and milk cards for that old-time World War II feeling.


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