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How To Run a B&B in Baghdad
September 9, 2009 7:07 AM   Subscribe

Adam Davidson, of Planet Money fame, was a reporter in Iraq. While there, Davidson decided to rent a house. To pay the rent, he decided to sublet rooms out to other journalists. You can read about his misadventures as a landlord in Baghdad here, and listen to the account on this episode of This American Life
posted by reenum (14 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was fascinating. Not quite Scoop but still with some superb mordant touches. Great post.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:59 AM on September 9, 2009


That would be the same Adam Davidson who was a bit of an ass to Elizabeth Warren when she was on Planet Money.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:37 AM on September 9, 2009


He fessed up to handling the Warren interview poorly. Not listening to Adam Davidson would be your loss. He's fantastic.

His staff mocks him for starting many of his sentences with "When I was in Iraq," so he must have loved telling this story!
posted by diogenes at 8:44 AM on September 9, 2009


Thanks. That was a great read. I just googled up a picture of Adam Davidson and he looks a lot younger than I had expected from listening to him on NPR.
posted by reformedjerk at 8:47 AM on September 9, 2009


I did hear his story on NPR, diogenes, and it was good. Glad to hear that he 'fessed up.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:52 AM on September 9, 2009


That was a really interesting read. Good post.
posted by shoesietart at 9:04 AM on September 9, 2009


Yeah, but all the complaints people had about him treating her poorly because she was female are off-base. He had the exact same argument with Barney Frank and Frank realism-ed him into submission. It’s just that Davidson has a hobbyhorse about a technocratic overhaul of the economic system that he’s obsessed with and can’t let go of. Frank actually expressed the flaws in Davidson’s case whereas Warren sort of just said the other sides doing the same thing we are.
posted by edbles at 9:17 AM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Good post. Thanks.
posted by Elmore at 9:27 AM on September 9, 2009


"I had fun shocking Iraqis with my decent command of Baghdad street slang—something no other Westerner I met could do." somehow, that phrase made me lose all sympathy for the Baghdad-slang-commanding guy.
posted by MrMisterio at 11:21 AM on September 9, 2009


Fascinating post. One of the few long newspaper stories I've actually made the effort to read on screen instead of just scanning.
posted by philsi at 12:24 PM on September 9, 2009


"I had fun shocking Iraqis with my decent command of Baghdad street slang—something no other Westerner I met could do."
somehow, that phrase made me lose all sympathy for the Baghdad-slang-commanding guy.


Really? The exact opposite for me. That's a phase that every male that I've met who goes to a country with relatively few fluent foreigners goes through (for some reason, not so much with females). Sure, you grow out of it, but it's like having worn neon colored clothing in the 80's or having feathered hair in the 70's: it isn't a bad thing, just a somewhat embarrassing-in-retrospect thing. To me, it just makes it easier to identify with him.
posted by Bugbread at 12:43 PM on September 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Really nice read, thank you for his.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:45 PM on September 9, 2009


it isn't a bad thing, just a somewhat embarrassing-in-retrospect thing. To me, it just makes it easier to identify with him.

Oh man, now I'm embarrassed-in-retrospect at dropping all that Kansai dialect when I was in Japan. The neon 80s clothing analogy is perfect.
posted by thedaniel at 1:37 AM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


And having now read the article, I must say I had trouble throughout reconciling my concept of Baghdad as a dangerous place with Davidson's tales of wild partying and lax security - after every second paragraph I expected Real Tragedy to strike.
posted by thedaniel at 1:55 AM on September 10, 2009


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