Checkpoint Questions:Christopher should be in Iraq now.
“Who is that actor, in ‘Back to the Future’? With Michael J. Fox?”
“Yes!” he said.
I was surprised, but I shouldn’t have been. The last time I was here, the authority figures of the region exhibited an intense curiosity combined with the air of menace. Here, being in charge means being feared.
After I explained the plot as best I could of the three movies — you have no idea how difficult that is, even with a translator — he asked me to explain the rules of American football. So I did, again, as best I could, turning yards into meters and downs into turns. He was thoroughly confused and by the time I got to the concept of a lateral pass, he’d had enough. He called the Sirnak station again.
After a moment he turned back to me. “Bye bye,” he said and smiled.
Thursday, April 03, 2003
Back to Iraq — at last.