Tag Archives: Middle East

Postcard from South Africa

We’ve finally made a safe return from our recent trip across the Middle East, and boy, are we glad to be home. No more sand, no more heat, no more staying up all night, no more Ramadan, no more baksheesh… We’re happy to be back to the life we want to live, going to shows, sleeping until noon, blogging and tweeting, and running amok right here in Baltimore.

This trip took us to Aqaba Jordan, Jeddah Saudi Arabia, Karachi Pakistan, Dammam Saudi Arabia, Shuwaikh Kuwait, Shuaiba Kuwait, Umm Qasr Iraq, Dubai UAE, Manama Bahrain, Karachi again, and (oddly) Port Elizabeth South Africa.

Rather than try to sum up all of that travel in one blog post, we’re just going to give you the barest little impression of the Streets of South Africa, which is kind of like Oakland, but even blacker.

Port Elizabeth’s old colonial city hall is still a functioning municipal building.

The colonial era Library, across the plaza from city hall and complete with a statue of Queen Victoria bustles with uniformed school children.

Virtually every flat surface in Port Elizabeth is completely covered in adverts for quack abortion services. Penis enlargement is also offered while you wait.

South African medicine is obviously much more highly evolved than our own. Their doctors can get you a promotion, help you win the lottery, recover stolen property, bring back lost lovers, and cure Aids, all for 50 Rand.($6.50)

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The Chop Goes to the Middle East… Again

It’s the last week of June.

Do you know what that means?

It means we’re going to do the same exact thing we did in the last week of June last year…

which was to go to the desert for several months.

The Saudis are known for their playful sense of humor, flirtatious women and joie de vivre... right?

We’ve got bills, you know?

Grown folks’ problems.

And blogging doesn’t pay those bills. Doesn’t solve those grown folks’ problems.

So we’re gonna put the blog on hiatus until October.

We’re gonna go over to the desert and sweat our ass off and try not to get it shot off.

Wish us luck.

See you when we get back.

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We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Chopping

And we’re back.

After 3 months of sweating our ass off in the deserts of Fujairah, Bahrain and Kuwait, the Chop is now officially unemployed once again! We’re back to living life the way God intended; Sleeping until noon, drinking coffee and goofing around online until evening, then switching to whiskey and painting the town.

Unfortunately, the real Bahrain is not so cute.

We’re looking to spend the next few days decompressing after all that, and after 36 hours of air travel. We’re also especially looking forward to updating our wardrobe for fall after wearing nothing but working clothes for 3 months, as well as making a tour of inspection of all the spots that have popped up since we left (looking at you, Johnny Rad’s and Bluegrass).

Good food and booze rate as high priority now, since we’ve had little other than canned and frozen veggies, bland salads and instant pancit noodles while we were gone. Liquor too can be pretty hard to find in the desert, especially during Ramadan, and we’re mighty thirsty. Don’t bother looking for pumpkin ale up at Wine Source from now on, since we’re going to be buying all of it tomorrow.

There’s really not too much to say about Arab countries. We don’t recommend going if you can help it. The most interesting part of the whole summer was the brief side trips we got to make to Djibouti and Diego Garcia, which we’ll talk a little about in separate posts later this week. If you’ll excuse us now though, there’s a bourbon and cider with our name on it.

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The Chop Goes to the Middle East

Well, Baltimore, we had a good Spring. We’ve had a lot of fun together over the last few months; going to shows, talking politics, watching baseball and barhopping. Sad to say though, not even the Chop can sleep until noon and screw around on the internet every day of our life. It’s time for us to go back into the great wide world of adventure. We’ll be leaving very, very early Tuesday morning.

Don’t worry Baltimore, we’ve gone away before, and come back with wonderful stories of exotic lands. The same applies now. We don’t expect we’ll be spending much time with easy access to the internet, so we’re going to put the blog on hiatus for a while. When we return, just as suddenly as we’re leaving, we’ll pick up right where we left off. Promise.

The last time we left we spent the coldest Winter ever in Northern Europe. This time we’re expecting the hottest of hot Summers in our travels around the Middle East.

If you just can’t go without your Chop fix this Summer, and want to hear someone anonymous describe life in the desert, we suggest you pick up a copy of the Thousand and One Nights, which we’ll be re-reading overseas, and which will serve as a daily reminder that while the lands of crescents and spires are indeed magical and enchanted, they’re also bloody, diabolical, and very, very hot.

The Chop is by turns a man of the world, and a man of leisure. Upon our return from a quest for fortune, we shall resume our quest for pleasure and enjoyment with a redoubled fervor. Of that you can rest assured.

Is it not just, that after so many troubles I should enjoy an agreeable and quiet life?”

-Sindbad the Sailor, from the Arabian Nights.

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