Sunday, November 04, 2007

Stories from my grand dad

My grandfather is 80something years old now, and he's got all these old stories from when he was a dam engineer back in Iraq, they're very entertaining to listen to him say it, but also they're history, so at some point I started documenting them when he told them (he's got like a hundred stories he recycles). This is one those stories.

I hope you can understand it, I basically wrote down exactly what he said (with instant translation)

The mosul damn, I was the manager for the project. Usually large projects like this need a base marble on which is written the name of the project and the date . the price we got for the stone was 120 dinar. For one stone !

We went to the guy who sold us the stone,
salams, did you quote us the price ?

120 dinar is a lot, why so much ? ok let's count

Hillania (I don't know what this means)

It worked out to be 35 dinar, + 25 dinar profits, why 120 ? (this story is from the 1970s, when the iraqi dinar was equal to 3 US dollars)

He turned to the purchasing committee who had come with me, asking "why did you bring this guy with you ? I was hoping the guy from Baghdad would come down so I can charge him lots!" The purchasing committee went nuts and trying to shut this guy up "This IS the Baghdad guy !"

He; like "No, this guy speaks likes us !"

So I said "I' came from Baghdad but I'm taba3ia mosul" (taba3ia means have origins from that place or ethnicity)

He said what ?

I said "I came to mosul when I was 6, all my education was in mosul, my university was a mosul scholarship. I married from mosul"

He said "Well then you're one of us !"

So I said "Ok then give it to me for 40 dinar, you have a 20 dinar profit"

He's like , ok 50 dinar, fine.

They had sent the director of purchasing and administration to suprvise me, from the baath party official. He asked me what I'd done.

So I called up one of the purchasing committee members, his name was francis, I asked him "what do you think should I tell him the price or give him the whole story ? Francis said, tell him the whole story it was a good thingh you did.

When I returned to Baghdad, the official dude told the minitester, the minister was my friend, I knew him from before. He sent for me.,

At his office, he took me to the board meeting room, I told him the whole story and he was laughing , He then sent me a letter of thanking and appreciation, with a 100 dinar bestowment.

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