Four faces of Taji
And now, a tale of the seasons.
Autumn — oh how I love thee. After summer, giving us a respite from the oppressive heat, and yet not quite winter, where dry land becomes water. I wish we could have autumn all year long. Alas, it only lasts a week.
Then pours in winter. Cold, windy, bleak, with the smell of wet chalk which I guess is from the mud. Water comes and goes like the tides, washing into buildings, then receding as it’s pumped out, to be replaced with clumps of oily grime that’s churned and worked into a paste.
Then the spring. More importantly — dry weather. The climate is similar to autumn, but we have acres of water to slosh across. Mmmmm, lovely. You can tell something evil looms on the horizon, though. It comes in twangs of heat — in that outbreak of sweat from the walk to work. “Hey, what’s wrong with me? I don’t sweat that much from walking outside!” Like the poor schmuck that stays in the pot because he can’t feel the water heating up — you’re about to have an epiphany…
Summer is hot! And not just hot, but damned hot! And full of choking blackness that stings the eyes, puts grits in your teeth, and blots out the sun so that all you have to look up to when you’ve been beaten to your knees from the tearing, sand-filled winds is some blighted white disc screaming rage and malcontent from on high. The only thing that could give us another kick in the pants is some sort of insect infestation — and you’re in luck, because sand flies fly through mosquito netting and feast on exposed flesh in the dark of night. They are so small, you can’t hear them, nor feel them, until that red bump bubbles up some time later. And not one bump, but dozens. Itching, hard, oozing bumps.
Mmmmm, how I love Iraq!