Thursday, March 15, 2007

Smoking a Cuban Cigar

One of the few pleasures I enjoyed in Iraq was the opportunity to get Cuban Cigars at the local Bizarre or “haji Mart” Whenever we went and security was established – I’d spark up a cigar and relax before we moved on. It seemed to several people that a lot of my pictures from Iraq were of me smoking a cigar – whether poolside at the Republican Palace, in Babylon or other location. I actually smoke one Cigar a day, but to those at home I seemed to be purposely smoking in a lot of pictures… simple explanation is that I was not taking my own picture in country but seemed to be caught by fellow soldiers when I was relaxing with a smoke.

I wonder if we will ever see Cuban cigars sold in this country in my lifetime? They were about equal to what we can get in the US – I smoke Romeo and Julieta which is made in both Cuba and the Dominican Republic and was what I sought in Iraq at every opportunity. Here in the US it is only available in its Dominican version. To be honest the Dominicans found here are equal in quality and are usually fresher than the Cuban version found in Iraq. A sideline musing perhaps, but we can get worldclass cigars here without Cubans…. But back to my story – Every night when back at MNSTC-I we had a smoke break scheduled in the courtyard. The day’s events would be discussed, cigarette and Cigar smokers and others would gather and decompress from the day’s toils and just talk about stuff…. A moment of no TV, gaze at the stars, exchange of thoughts – A place to reflect. I would alway hear more from everyone on a personal level in those moments than I could realize in a day of working side by side with them... at times in the hustle of life since I reflect back on the quiet times

I thought I’d post a few moments in passing of enjoying a good cigar…

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