10.20.07 – Bazaar Madness & My *free* Visit to the Military Doc!

20Oct07

Well, we left Camp Eggers yesterday and just before we did I went to the bazaar to see what good deals I could find. We ran into Cheif Molina took us to a bootleg dvd vendor. It was 2 brothers running the booth Mufaza & Muhammed. Once the Cheif told him who we were and what we were there to do they gave us a stack of bootlegs for FREE! Wooo hooo! It’s pretty cool because it’s about 12-16 movies on one disc (even if the subtitles are in Chinese lol) from one main actor like Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone, Wil Smith, Antonio Banderas, or Brad Pitt. They *love* American movies here and it serves as a good leisure for the military personnel when they’re not working. We had to get over to ISAF quick which was the next base where we were performing that evening. The British soldiers took us over this time so instead of our cool Humvee rides we took an armoured van….booo hooo….we were gettin spoiled. So we put on the bulletproof vests and helmets and rode out. ISAF was only 10 minutes away and we had heard it was mostly a European Forces base so I liked the idea that the Spanish soldiers would understand my songs.

Here are my British military friends ūüôā who almost swooped me away after we took this pic! lol

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I had been feeling really stuffy and runny all day plus my sinus was kickin in bad. There is so much dust flying around that my poor respiratory system was really starting to suffer. Once we got to ISAF, we met with¬†another¬†Sargeant who would be¬†our¬†point of contact and he took us on a tour, Sargeant Becker. He said the bazaar was also being held on that base too so¬†I was looking forward to shopping more deals since¬†I didn’t have enough time on the last one. Along the tour we passed the clinic which was closed. I needed some kind of quick fix before the show or I wasn’t going to be able to sing. Sargeant Becker told the Doctor my situation and she saw me quickly. Now that’s what I call service! She was a very¬†pretty British lady-doctor and very sweet. After a brief check-up she gave me lozenges, some German type Vicks Vapo-rub, nose spray, drowsy Benadryl (so I could sleep better) and some other oil I’m supposed to use to inhale before I sing. This was the first time in my entire life I saw a doctor without having to pay even a copay ūüėČ

After the doctors visit we went to the next bazaar. These guys were super aggressive. Even the kids….man, I’m *such* a sucker! They got me as soon as I walked in. “Ma’am! Ma’am! Pretty lady….” then “please buy this” and they practically¬†shove it in your hand. Oh well, I was only out $5 but still I had to raise my guard up a bit so I didn’t lose all my money in a matter of minutes. I haven’t even met grown people who are hustlers the way those kids are! The bazaar was like a flea market where local Afghans had booths set us with everything from jewelry, blankets, scarfs, rugs, instruments, bootleg DVD’s, traditional dresses, and much more. Mark actually bought a really neat instrument at the first bazaar. It’s an Afghan guitar called the Rohbab (pronounced row-bob.)¬†¬†He’s been strumming it and it has a really traditional sound to it. He says they are about $500 in the States. He got it for $120 and you can tell it’s handmade. It’s absolutely beautiful and he got a steal for it.¬†He will have¬†to ship it back home.

After the bazaar madness, I remembered I had some laundry to do as well as soundcheck. We were playing on site in a club called “the Palace”. It didn’t necessarily look like a palace but it did have a cool Euro feel to it. They served some really good coffee too. All the boys could think about was gettin a beer but they don’t start serving til 7pm. We took care of soundcheck and got ready for the show. By 8:30pm we were on. This was a pretty chill crowd despite the drinking. I really thought they’d be a little more rowdy but I was still feelin under the weather so that may have played a big part in me getting them pumped up. Here are a few pics with¬†a few friends we made:

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Even though we met some nice people, there was something a little bit different about this crowd. A few of these guys were really trying to score afterwards…lol I guess I can’t blame them but Tanya and I were a little creeped out about it. Our bunk roomy for the night named “Cazz” was a cool chick. She likes to get out and party. Tanya and I were so tired we went back to the room and passed out. She came in about midnight and told us to come get a drink with her and her friends but we were so exhausted we passed on it. We knew we were flying out to Qatar today so we wanted to be well rested.

I forgot to mention we had a really good meal last night. It was snapper and it was soo good! This morning we woke up and had to get going to the airport to fly to Qatar. Today is the first day in 3 days that we weren’t performing. Maybe we can all get over our sniffles. The soldiers were telling us that Qatar is a place for “holiday” or R&R so we are really looking forward to it. The Brits brought us to the airport again. I know a few of my girlfriends who would go crazy over these British military boys. They were pretty hot! Again we put on our vests, helmets, and rode in the armoured van….no longer an adventure after it goes from being a Humvee to a van…pfft!

On the way to the airport I saw more of the Afghan civilization. I could describe it the best way I can but it won’t paint a pretty picture. Kabul seems like it’s about a¬†century behind. I don’t want to judge anyone’s simpler way of life but I felt so fortunate. Here are a few images from Kabul:

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A man and his son:

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One lady-soldier even told me that they didn’t have concrete roads til the American forces came. I believe that because you do see¬†a lot of¬†dirt roads and loose gravel on the way to Kabul and some parts inside the city. Also something I failed to mention before.. they sell slabs of raw meat on the side of the road and they are swarmed with mosquitoes! UGH! There should be some kind¬†of Health and Food Services Dept regulation against that but I know that doesn’t exist here ūüė¶ We really are so fortunate. The women are completely covered with not even their eyes showing. They have some kind of¬†transparent material on their eyes¬†so they can see but you can’t see not one part of them.¬†

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There are little dust covered shops and¬†even their homes look like they’re made out of¬†mud or clay. Everything is covered in dirt and the village is along the mountain and the desert. The British military really know how¬†to drive that little armoured¬†van too.¬†They kept sounding the sirens to get everyone to move. I felt like the President! We were whizzing in and out of cars and at one point¬†they hit the brakes¬†so hard we all went flying forward! (Mental Note: ALWAYS wear a seatbelt)

Now we’re back at Kaia airport. That’s the location were we stayed a few nights ago¬†– remember the filthy prison-like accomodations I was describing? Well, thank goodness we’re not staying here tonight. Don’t get me wrong, at least we had somewhere to stay that night! Our flight for Qatar takes off in a few hours so here we are hanging out in the same cafe where they had the good food. It’s going to be an 8-hour wait for our¬†flight to Qatar so we are mentally preparing ourselves for that. We’re taking a military flight so here comes the fun roller-coaster ride with the straps & earplugs! And guess who we ran into!?? The same Belgian officer from last time. He is *such* a sweetheart! I mentioned him before but didn’t give you his name, Cheif Henry Lateste. He has been hangin out with us this morning.¬† Just a big sweet giant! If he wasn’t married, I’d hook my mom up! He said he is really enjoying¬†my cd too. Yaaay!

Here are pictures of Tanya and I with Cheif Lateste:

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Anyway, I will catch up more later…just wanted to give you my update for the day!¬†We’ve been gone for about a week now and even though we’re tired, sick, and gettin on each other’s nerves (lol) I am really thankful for this experience. Because of this trip my life will never be the same again. Oh! And we got coined again at ISAF! Woo hoo! Add to the collection! Thanks Sargeant Becker!

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(Pictured right to left: Cruz, Durbin, Rick, *myself*, Sargeant Becker, Tanya, Mark + his Rohbab ūüôā

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5 Responses to “10.20.07 – Bazaar Madness & My *free* Visit to the Military Doc!”

  1. talk about serendipity. i just refreshed my blog feed while one of your songs was playing on my ipod and bam … there’s your post.

    i hope you get adjusted quicker to climate and those things the doctor prescribed work. *crosses fingers*

    got your message and yes, we’ll most definitely need to get together about the art. ūüôā

    coined. heh ūüôā

    stay safe, amiga!

  2. 2 lateste henri

    Ola Chica!
    It felt sad to see you all leave. I hope you have a good flight without too many bumps in the air! I honestly enjoyed your company, of all six of you! Funn y how things can tyrn isn’t it? Here you are in the middle of nowhere and next thing you know you’re hooked up with a rock band that want to take me as their big cuddly mascotte on tour! Aah, if only I would have been twenty years younger! I might have taken you up on your offer. Enjoy the rest of the tour, I’ll keep an eye on the blog, I’ll stay in touch and I’ll send e-mail from Kabul and from home (early february)! I promise to get in touch if ever my ship comes your way.Remember, don’t give up your dreams, any of you!
    Oh, and Karina, make up with Tanya, will you!? ūüôā
    Miss you all, stay in touch ok!? Henri

  3. 3 Ryan

    whoa whoa tell them boys to slow they roll!…tryin to score after the show, tssskkk. lol. Man everything sounds really awesome babe. Glad everyone is taking great care of yall and enjoying what you’re bringing them. I’m sure many life lessons are coming from the journey thus far. Bout those dvd’s with one actor, please tell me they had Jean Claude Van Damme’s greatest hits! ahahaha, i kid. We know E would be drooling over those damn brits ūüėČ

  4. 4 Rete

    Coined or given a Medal?

  5. your blogs are so descriptive k. i’ve spent the last 30min reading them all. i’m glad that you are doing well. i’ve been praying for you…but i have to say that you are where you’re meant to be right now. im glad Creator has sent you on this journey. be safe, keep writing, and enjoy where you are my friend.


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