I thought I saw a friend from East Timor the other day and checked and sent him an email. Below is his reply. I have had it easy in comparison.
well a blast from the past....In an hour I am going on holiday out of email contact to North West Holland so for now will keep this short, I will be back in a week and then will catch up with you. Suffice to say I was with the UN Electoral in Khost province in Gardez District from April and on June 6th was in a road mission from Khost to Gardez. with my PVC and were attacked twice, once by remote detonated mine, then later by 3 RPG's and a firefight that lasted nearly an hour. Lucky to be alive. If you have seen the movie "Pulp Fiction" I would call it divine intervention.We have now been repatriated out and awaiting fresh missions in the future. I hope all is well for you in that god forsaken country, how is your motor bike, I expect you have donkey now, and do you still have your house boat. Will be good to catch up.
Also an earthquake one night last week. I awoke to a sense of being shaken and realized it was the house not me. I waited wondering how much the huse could take before cracking and I would have to drag myself out of bed and go down to the shelter. It seemed to last about 5 minutes but was probably less than that. I did not have to get out of bed. Life has been working about 12 hours a day 6.5 days a week, squash or gym, quick meals and sleep.
Now on leave. When queueing at Kabul airport heard a large Canadian say to an Afghan 'Hoy guy back of the queue. What are you from Toronto.' In Istambul satin food market and chatted to people. One man onasking where I was from said,'We do not like your wars'. I told him I was not too keen on them either. Some students discussed the war in detail and how their president, Mustafa, was an American puppet. I asked what was better an American puppet or an American poodle. They were of course also very interested in 'free' sex in the west. I had to esure them that, 'I have not had sex for a long time can you help me.' was probably not going to be the most successful chat up line.
Now in Dubai heading for Lebonon for a holiday.Strange being able to walk around freely and not having guns and military everywhere.