*Defined terms

While I enjoy being quite esoteric and mysterious, it probably helps if you actually understand what I’m talking about. To that end and for the greater good I shall dispense with the veiled allusions and throw off my wordy-woman of mystery by providing the following definitions of commonly used terms for your benefit:

Sand Pits: Countries that have a higher proportion of sand particles than they do honest, decent and peaceful members of parliament. Used as a term of familiarity by some members of the Australia armed forces to refer to hostile environments in the Middle East, namely, Afghanistan, as in “after he came back from the sand pit”.

For current purposes, I’m using it to describe much of the region, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt. A note to Iran, by including you in this list I am not inferring your politicians are not honest, decent and peaceful. I hear you’re all lovely…please let me in.

Sausages: (a) Commonly used as a reference to food in general as well as specifically to sausages which just happen to be one of my favourite comfort foods. Most people are adamant I will find no sausages on this three month journey. I disagree and have set out to prove my point. You can’t tell me the Brits came up with the idea of sausages all by themselves. Surely one of the greatest food inventions didn’t bypass the Silk Road route in entirety. There have to be sausages around here somewhere. Think of it like that game you played on long road trips; the person who spotted the most white horses along the journey won….

“White Horse!”, “Where? I dont believe you. That’s not counted, I’m still winning” (disregarding the fact there’s no such thing as a white horse. Grey Horse! doesn’t really have the same ring about it. Lordy, I digress…)

(b) Frequently used in the phrase, “you silly sausage”, by one or both of my parents in  a affectionate but exasperated response to something I’d dropped, forgotten, broken, accidentally sold, burned a hole in, pulled out of the garden (Mum, I’m still sorry about that rare opium poppy, I truly thought it was a weed) or said inappropriately in front of school assembly. Unequiocally not used in relation to my idea to travel through hostile environments and definitely wont be the response if I come home missing a leg.

(c) Fine, yes it’s also a euphamism (norty!). Tell me you didn’t at least roll your eyes indulgently at my blog title. But it got you interested, didnt it. Didn’t it? Oh.

BSC: Bat Shit Crazy. Not Bachelor of Science. Commonly used by me to describe some of the people I’m worried about being inopportunely introduced to, and commonly used by pretty much everyone else to describe me.

Also occasionally used with a tone of admiration and deference if I come across individuals who have successfully mastered the art of calculated risk taking for vast and plentiful payoff. Or those who choose to do the opposite of what society would traditionally say was the “best path” for them in career, in love, in relationships, and in choosing an appropriate pet.

May be used interchangeably with the phrase “Too much goat”. You can thank KV’s brother for this one, retelling stories of a disgrunteled cab driver who linked certain nationalities and their consumption of preferred food groups to his assessment of their mental health problems.

KV: Travelling with me through Turkey and Iran. We met many years ago at a city law firm, wearing suits every day. We bonded over a shared love of excessive drinking, dating wildly innapropriate men and procrastinating (all of which we continue to excel at). KV also excels at taking photographs so you’ll want to hope she lets me post some.

She’s come to the Middle East via Africa, and a job at another city law firm. I managed to escape a couple of years ago and found a company that would pay me for doing what I love most: talking, talking, talking, along with a spot of writing.

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