Henry is in his 80's and is the kind of old man that has shrunken a bit over the years. He wears over-sized glasses that make his eyes look huge and he is slightly hunched at the shoulders. As most older people tend to do, he was asking me about work and what I do in DC. I gave him an overview of some of the stuff that I do and he seemed about as bored as I was to hear about it. But when I mentioned that some of my work is with Afghanistan his heavily magnified eyes brightened.
“Oh Afghanistan, that should be interesting. Of course, the closest I ever got to there was Karachi.”
What were you doing in Karachi?
“I was stationed there for WWII.”
Really? I didn't think that there were many US troops in India in WWII. What were you doing in Karachi?
“Oh, we were definitely there. I was in Karachi for two years. We were digging up the tea plantations to make runways for the air force. That was so that we could fly supply planes to China to support Chiang Kai-shek against the Japanese.”
Wow, I had no idea. That's really interesting.
Henry winked at me through his plastic lenses, “That's where I learned to drink Siam Tea.”