Thursday, January 15, 2009

From The Archive: The Meeting Take 3

This is undoubtedly my favorite blog post from my old blog (if I have said that before then that statement is now moot) most likely because it was my first and only attempt at a running diary to date. That and the meeting itself was on Afghanistan, a topic I know a lot about to begin with.

And I believe this taps out all the repostable posts from the Doyle Opinion, so enjoy it!

As always this color delineates a new comment.

Meeting take three

Decided to go diary style today for this post; it works for Bill Simmons maybe it will work for me. I didn’t think to actually write down the time, sorry, maybe next time (that next time is still being determined). That and I'm too lazy to make it up.

-Well I’m sitting here in the Afghanistan delegation teleconference by myself and lacking any sustenance and its almost lunch time. Last time I had a lunch meeting we received sandwiches, no sandwiches today, Kevin sad.

-The well dressed waiters have entered the room, that can mean only one thing, Coffee time! I don’t even like coffee, but something about being asked if I want coffee in French by a man in a Penguin suit makes me feel important. Now all I can think about is Tony Kornheiser doing the Penguin dance. (Added in the youtube clip)

-The translators are semi-freaking out in front of me about how they are going to have to translate from Farsi and Pashtu to English and then to all the other languages in the room. I’m going to struggle just knowing the different between Pashtu and Farsi. (many of you think I know Pashtu and Farsi because of that comment, that would be incorrect, I know only English)

-My English translator has the sexiest voice I have ever heard, no lie. I have no idea what she looks like but her voice alone has won me over. (Not a lie, just making sure you caught that)

-The video quality is a microcosm for the differences between life in Afghanistan and EU member states.
o Afghan – Hazy, inconsistent, could die at any moment
o EU – Perfect

(It should be noted I was very pleased with myself after typing that out)

-Well I guess my MEP isn’t the only person skipping out on this meeting it looks like 2/3 of them are missing. Glad to see that the Afghani people and the EU soldiers fighting on their behalf mean so much to Members of Parliament. I wonder if any of them have kids over there.

-They are talking about their trip to Afghanistan in April, I really wish I could go. (I'm sure an American serviceman would be all to happy to take that offer up now, naive bastard)

-I can’t believe I was not siked for this meeting, I mean I did read a 1400 page book on the history of Afghanistan and its current political system, for fun, but no I wasn’t pumped about meeting a bunch of the Afghani government officials via the internet. Afghanistan is my fucking thing. (It is)

-One MEP had a meeting with Benzir Bhutto scheduled two hours after she was assassinated. If that doesn’t throw your mind for a loop then I don’t know what will.

-The Italian translator fulfills the “Italians talk with their hands” stereotype.

-Just checked on my Italian skills, still don’t have any. (I think I did this in every meeting)

-The other English translators voice is not hot.

-Video conference begins, lots of yelling in Pashtu or Farsi, I still don’t quite understand the difference. Then again its been like 20 minutes.

-Some good questions, enjoyed the blasphemy/death penalty question. Clearly got the attention of the Afghans. Lots of death stares.

-Poor Afghans, the Committee chair is just not stopping, he just loves to hear himself speak.

-And the Afghan dude knows English! Makes the Euros very happy. (Though the French guy seems perturbed, he must not have gotten the memo about how his language ranks 8 spots below English)

-Lots of thanks and salutations.

-More shouting in Pashtu and Farsi

-Honestly how can the video quality be this bad?

-Mr. Chairman must not translate into Pashtu and Farsi because they keep calling the Chairman “Your Excellency” it just has that European imperialism feel to it.

-Nice backhand by the Afghans “We appreciate your concerns about our laws but they are the laws of Afghanistan”
Translation: “Fuck you, how dare you tell us how to run our country when I have bombs going off right down the street from where I live! Does that happen in Brussels? Didn’t think so.”

-OOOOOOO a woman Afghan! I’m intrigued!

-More invitations to Kabul, I mean is this a hot vacation destination or something! Come to Kabul! Where the woman are fully clothed, the electricity is intermittent and the bombs are plentiful!

-Afghans do not appear to be big fans of Pakistan. The guy talking (who has a great hat by the way) is just railing against Pakistan, accusing them of supporting terror and meddling in Afghani affairs. I don’t think the west really gets Pakistan and how they always do what is in the best interest of Pakistan even if that means supporting terror and destroying the lives of millions of Afghanis. Or how they can not stand for a independent Afghanistan but would rather see one that is subservient to Pakistan and its wishes. I do not for see a smooth transition to democracy that every one is talking about because that has never happened in Pakistan’s brief but turbulent history. What I do see is a large insurrection in the tribal areas covertly supported by the Security Services that will lead to yet another military coup because the military always needs the power in Pakistan. The US should be focused more so on Afghanistan/Pakistan than Iran/Iraq. End rant. (Security Service Insurrection down, now for the Coup....)

-The translation thing is killing me, the meeting time has basically doubled. Damn you tower of Babel! Maybe they speak stomach growl.......

-More shouting in Pashtu/Farsi.

-The dude next to me keeps staring at me with his silly looking glasses. I just want to snap his glasses and tell him he looks foolish in them. If he keeps staring, I just might. Don’t stare at me when I’m hungry.

-I love how non-Americans/Canadians say Canada, cracks me up every time.

-This better end soon or I won’t be able to eat for another hour, debating just leaving. Only thing that is keeping me here is the chance that a bomb goes off in the background. I know, I have issues.

-Something new, shouting in English! Nothing like being lectured on media censorship by an Afghan, he is right though, they just became a much more liberal state, it takes time.

-It’s over! Time to eat!

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