Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ugandan troops

There are some Ugandan troops on the base now, small, dark-skinned men in khaki. Very serious looking. Although they carry American weapons, they wear no insignia, and I think they are contract soldiers. Mercenaries.

We ran into a couple of them playing pool at the club last night. It is interesting to compare how an American shoots pool with how a Ugandan does. As might be expected if you ever stopped to think about it, the American shoots pool very efficiently, with a minimum of speech and motion. Not so the Ugandan. The Ugandan will take his time lining up the various shots with his eyes, estimating multiple angles with the cue, and possibly consulting with a friend or acquaintance. When the preliminaries are complete, he leans onto the table, draws back his stick, and - in one fluid motion - takes the shot, jumps back from the table as if the slate itself were too hot to touch, and immediately goes into a little celebratory dance, regardless of whether his efforts have actually resulted in a ball going into a pocket. This jig may or may not include holding the cue horizontally over the head with two hands and pumping it, much in the manner one would imagine holding a spear during a tribal dance of some sort. This is always accompanied by much pointing, back slapping, and high fiving.

I have to admit, as entertaining as they are, none of the histrionics seems to improve their game, and the only time I lost was when I scratched on the eight ball. But it was fascinating to watch! They must think we are so staid.

Later, at midnight chow, we heard three mortar rounds land close by, over near the ECP. Judging from the number of times they get hit, it’s the Haji’s favorite target. That’s where the Ugandan troops are.

2 Comments:

Blogger KAB said...

Who contracted the Ugandan soldiers? Don't tell me Bush is fighting his war with mercenaries? Come to think of it, I would rather pay to have mercenaries fight it than our soldiers. How about a gas tax to fund these guys?

March 29, 2007 9:05 AM  
Blogger kbinkowski35 said...

I wonder, after they pump a few bullets into an errant Iraqi, I mean insurgent, do they do that same jig?

March 30, 2007 6:12 AM  

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