Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sights and Sounds

This MRAP was over by the Exchange this afternoon and I took the opportunity to do a sketch of it.  I don't know what it is about these trucks, but I get a huge kick out of drawing them.  Unlike civilian vehicles, these things are not "styled" at all, everything is functional, and since its function is bizarre, so is the shape.  So there is no shortage of interesting shapes to play with, and to get it to look right, you have to really look at it.

Several times today I made it a point to stop and listen.  I'm normally a visual guy, so it was intriguing to focus on a different sense.  Here are some of the sounds from Baghdad today:
- Chirping of little birds chasing each other around a tree.
- Sudden barrage of fire from the firing range down the street.  Then, just as suddenly, silence.
- Horn beeps from the car traffic.
- Thumping of the helicopters passing overhead.
- Quiet chatter of the guards at the gate.
- Diesel rumble of heavy armored vehicles.
- Clicking of pistols being cleared at every entry point to a building.
- Faint high-speed engine noise from generators at the Iraqi houses on the other side of the wall.
- Plop-plop-plop of joggers going by.
- Pleading of the young Iraqi boys trying to sell pirated DVDs or Saddam-era souvenir dinar.
- Heavy rumble and shriek of the big steel gates opening and closing.
- Squawk of a siren from a VIP convoy.
- Drone of the muezzins doing the call-to-prayer over the speakers at the mosque.
- Howling of dogs at the muezzins.
- A jet fighter circling lazily high overhead.
- The CLUMP of my door closing behind me.

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