this morning was chilly, but i'm adjusting to the temperature. it's still not as cold as St. Louis was when i lived there. every day, the weather is cooler and clearer (the skies are a cold, deep blue).

saturday night was "salsa night." i went to take lessons and ended up dancing until 11 (i left early because i had to be at work the next morning). dancing and twirling around, i nearly forgot i was in Baghdad. funny thing about being over here: if you're a woman, you're the center of attention, no matter what you look like. so, i hadn't even taken my coat off completely when someone asked me to dance.... and he was wearing his 9mm pistol the entire time (which i found somewhat entertaining in itself). ever dance with someone, spinning like a swing dance, while he/she is wearing a pistol? i will have to go back next saturday and do it again, because not only was i exhausted dancing nearly every song, but i had fun and released a ton of stress from work.

yesterday, when i got off work (early, for once), i went to North Victory where they have a small "bazaar" with items from the local population. i had to do some Christmas shopping, of course. i'm sure that if i had been able to get off the base to do the shopping, it would have been cheaper (and suicidal), but they jack the prices up b/c those of us on base don't have any other options. also, there is no such thing as bargaining there. *sigh* and that's the fun part! oh well. i also went by the Rug Shop, where they have real Persian and Turkish rugs for sale at reasonable prices. i am seriously thinking of getting a small one from Qom, Iran. they're pure silk, gorgeous, and as expensive as can be (why, oh why do i only like the best?). i'll have to get a really small one, but it'll last forever. i'll wait until next year to get it...