I’m in a camp filled with men yet whenever I need my furniture moved or a bungee cord or my door rigged there is not a single male to be found. My mate Kate has the same problem. My trailer is right in front of the staging area for one of the PSDs and they use Iraqi staff and sometimes it is very difficult for me to step out of my trailer in the morning because they still haven’t gotten used to me, so they all stare, I feel like I’ve forgotten my pants or my shirt, so I do a quick double-check to make sure that I’m fully clothed then duck my head not meeting any of their eyes and head to breakfast.
Today I took my male colleague Java to the airport and he doesn’t know how to drive so I was driving. As we were leaving he noticed I had short sleeves on so he said aren’t you going to cover, I had forgotten so I grabbed my sweatshirt. We went to the airport to pay a holding fee for the restaurant that was providing meals for the training. It’s interesting dealing with the men here because they are so used to dealing with other men and not women. They mainly spoke with Java and although I paid the man the money he tried to give the receipt to Java. And on top of it most of them have never seen a woman my height it is super hard to blend in here.
We left the airport through a sea of Iraqi police and they stared in absolute amazement as I hopped into the driver’s seat and Java took the passenger seat. Java put on his sunglasses and said, “See I’m so cool, I get driven my the tall blond American.”
In addition to the Iraqi men you have to put up with a little bit of ribbing from the PSD men, most of its o.k. but the other night this young 26 year-old kid was completely drunk and out of line. He threatened to beat me. I find it so annoying that in the midst of the way women are treated in Iraq that some young punk kid thinks he can threaten to beat me. His friends quickly removed him from the situation, but he was so out of line. It’s sad the PSDs have an opportunity to set an example for the other men of Iraq, a lot of them do, but this kid obviously wasn’t spanked enough as a child.