Dec 28, 2010   //   by peretz   //   terms  //  9 Comments

Terms picked up along the way:

  • ISAF - Inter­na­tional Secu­rity Assis­tance Force is what the US-led NATO coali­tion forces are called in Afghanistan.
  • Com­mVoid — of as in, “Sorry, I didn’t hang up, we got Com­mVoid!”  Because many IEDs are trig­gered by cell­phone, ISAF and UN con­voys fre­quently travel with cell­phone jam­mers cre­at­ing a communi­ca­tion void in their vicin­ity.  As I have been informed by peo­ple who have expe­ri­ence with such things, the most dan­ger­ous place to drive is at the bound­ary of such a jam­mer bub­ble.  If the cell­phone is being used to trig­ger an IED in the road, once the con­voy passes, it goes boom.
  • Money is Expired — as in, “sorry, this money (old style 20$ bill) is expired.  We can only exchange it for 700 rather than 900 Afs (short for Afgha­nis, the local currency).”
  • Eye in the Sky — A high-tech sur­veil­lance bal­loon that flies in the skys of Kabul.  It is fre­quently down for repairs (as fre­quently as it is shot at.)  Locals believe it’s peer­ing eye can see them inside their homes.   Who knows, maybe it can?
  • The Wire — as in “Out­side the Wire, Inside the Loop” the tagline of an infor­ma­tive blog about Afghanistan by Tim Lynch, a fre­quent guest at the Taj. The Wire refers to the barbed wire that sur­rounds bases where sol­diers oper­ate and clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion dom­i­nates. It serves as much to pro­tect those within as it does to pre­vent them from accu­rately see­ing the sit­u­a­tion out­side.  Iron­i­cally, it’s own kind of veil and many inside the wire feel restricted and cooped up.
  • Pornol­ogy — as in what you are not sup­posed to be brows­ing on the internet.
  • Music Party — as in, if we have a first born boy, we’ll have a music party and many peo­ple will come.  If it’s a girl, we’ll have just a food party and not invite as many peo­ple.  Maybe you are the kind of peo­ple that will have a music party even if it’s a girl?

  • The Eye in the Sky is the large white object in this photo:


    It’s dusty here, and late. I’m going to use a Neti Pot to clear out my sinuses and try to catch some sleep.

    • Part sky

      More lingo please. Also, please shorten the text width. It is get­ting cut off on the right side.

      • Anony­mous

        What browser are you using?

      • hod

        get a bet­ter com­puter :p

        works for me on 1028 x 764 or some­thing like that

    • hod

      btw won­der­ful clar­ity. keep writ­ing, please

    • Capt Sasha

      There are a bunch of these “pro­tect­ing” our south­ern border.

    • Capt Sasha

      …and by “these” I mean the “Eye in the Sky”. I don’t think it can see into my house (boat), but they can def­i­nitely track the motion of every ship and air­craft within sev­eral hun­dred miles.

    • sgo­ral­nick

      love the lingo post. we’ll have a music party when you guys stop by new york on your way back.

    • Keehn

      have read much of your stuff from jalala­good and seen what i think are all your pics from these trips. quite impres­sive!! i see you cant sit still.….… except for the moment of “date
      night” where you are star­ing past your “wife” elzbth and where you look uncan­nily like your father!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? also saw this quote from you
      on your day of heroism.….….…

      When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal a wife’s right to a hus­band, and rob his chil­dren of a father. If you save a life, I believe in some rewards from God. So, I quickly decided to thwart the imma­nent attack and save my life along with nine other pas­sen­gers in that vehi­cle and many oth­ers outside. ”

      you should know that your her­itage trans­mits
      that if you save a life it is as if you save the whole world.…… because of the many con­nec­tions phys­i­cal, mental,familial, com­mu­nal, national, global each per­son has in life. your action demon­strated a higher good but i do not know if i would have had the phys­i­cal and men­tal courage to carry it out.
      take care on your trips and keep in mind that
      it is said that the pop­u­la­tion there may be made up of some of the ten lost tribes.
      good luck.….….…..

    • Noam Smooha

      Fas­ci­nat­ing post, Peretz!
      In Ara­bic, the stan­dard phrase for con­cert is حفلة موسوقية [Hafla musiqiya], lit­er­ally “musi­cal party.”