Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Bye bye to the Gitmo boys

There is a new air of tranquillity and calm in the area around McNabb Mansions this week: the massive hole in the sand road has disappeared and the pumps are no longer beating their low, heady, thumping jungle rhythm day and night. The municipality workers have moved on, their distinctive orange boiler-suited figures no longer decorate the street; lounging around, leaning on their straight-handled shovels or fishing in the bins for useful rubbish.

The road doesn’t look like a scene from Guantanamo any more, but you do wonder sometimes if these guys, Pathans and Pashtuns all, wouldn’t be happy to claim they were Taliban in order to get the better treatment they undoubtedly hand out at Gitmo. Sure, there’s probably the odd spell of sensory deprivation or the occasional beasting meted out over at the Bush Hotel, but I’m sure that’s preferable to concurrent three year stretches hefting shovel-loads of gravel in the bottom of unshored 20-foot holes in ambient temperatures of 45C and more for nine hours a day.

Don’t for a second think I’m being sympathetic. Two weeks of those migraine-inducing thumping pumps, running the gamut of their silent, leering faces every morning and finding rubbish strewn all around your house every night (let alone holes and piles of sand everywhere the eye can see) and you’d sling ‘em back to Spin Boldak yourself.

At least they didn’t cut through our telephone cables, unlike the bunch that descended on our Molouk – who got cut off in her prime this week!

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