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Anatomy Of An Attempted Elvising

Monday, November 8th, 2004

Anatomy of an Attempted Elvising!

The next day around 2 PM I am feeling decidedly unwell after being poisoned at the DFAC, and think to myself I need to take care of some bathroom business, and I better go ahead since we should get attacked in another hour or two, and you never know how long that will take. I’m going, I’ve got time. (This is what’s known as foreshadowing.)

So there I was, conducting business and reading my intermediate Russian storybook. I’m getting much better. A few words are defined at the bottom of the page, around half of which I already know. Most everything else I pick up from context and thinking really hard about the words. The prefixes and suffixes convey a lot of meaning, and if you know them it makes it much easier, though not at all a sure thing, of course.

I’m reading a true story about this family who has a polar bear. It’s all very touching and cutesy, having a polar bear and all. The ending well and truly sucks, but I guess that’s life. I don’t much POP! damn!WHOOOgottago!!OOOOOOOOOOstupidpants!OOOSH! BANG! That was a rocket! The book goes somewhere, I zip up, avoiding unfriendly entanglements, hope #2 (the other one) doesn’t show up too soon, and bolt for the bunker. There is one right outside my hooch, so I’m pretty well covered getting to it. Really, I’m not too badly protected inside the container too, as it is fairly well surrounded by sandbags or HESCOs. As long as it’s not an airburst or a direct hit, I’d be okay. But still, it’s horrifying to think of following in Elvis’ footsteps, much less in a much messier way. I’d hope that the responsible parties would have the good taste to give the appropriate lies on that. “Didn’t feel a thing” and of course “No, did not die on the shitter…why do you ask?”

Anyways, I tucked in my shirt and buckled my belt out in the bunker. They didn’t throw anything else at us. These guys are blowing the pattern off left and right. No consistency. Later that evening, I am wasting time hanging around. I’d rather go ahead and get the evening attack over with, though sometimes they don’t do it, or decide to bother the airfield instead, and some random place in town. I don’t want to go into my hooch and get comfortable, flop off the shoes, and then have to put them back on and rush out into the night. I don’t like to be bothered once I have lain back for the day. I don’t sleep, but it’s nice to just lie down and stretch at the end of the day. Finally we figure they must be taking the night off. I am just reaching out to unlock my door, trying to find the key slot in the dark BOOM! There they go! I holler into the night “Ha ha, you mother fuckers! I hadn’t even got in the room yet!!!” Another one goes off. I think they were IEDs, but in either case they weren’t on the FOB.

We had some more random stuff today, but it’s not real interesting. One more week before I starting transiting down to Dubai for a short bit of time off. Something like 6 days down there, and then when I get back I have a little less than 6 weeks before heading out for good, after 25 months out. Gonna take a nice, long vacation.

Back in the Middle East

Wednesday, August 18th, 2004

I’m out of Malaysia and now in Dubai. I may be stuck here for a little while maybe, don’t know. There is a halt on civilian air traffic right now, and we can’t fly milair at this time either. I won’t have any of the write-ups posted until I can get back to Mosul and download my notes and pics to my machine there.

In a nutshell, had a good time after I got over KBR screwing me so badly, got engaged, hung out in the water, and my pasty whiteboy self got sunburned. Peeling now, but as it always goes I can’t peel effectively on my back, but I am compelled to try. Malaysia is pretty cheap, I recommend it.

Never Take Their Word For It Part II

Sunday, July 25th, 2004

These people are hopeless. They can’t “provide” travel except from Dubai. This project is very poorly run and the staff is not helpful. I find it’s best to distance yourself from relying on other people where possible. Nobody is going to look out for your interests like you are, and they may not bother to look out for you at all. Lucky for me I am resourceful. If I understood the hyper-fast speaking Indian (?) guy at the Uzbekistan Airways counter I called, I just show up and I got me a ticket. Gonna be a busy trip, but a good one. I go Mosul Palace back to Mosul Airfield, fly down to Baghdad, then later on to Dubai where I take custody of myself, arrange a few things and then on to Tashkent I go…

One week, and I am there!

Never Take Their Word For It

Friday, July 23rd, 2004

Sigh…here’s the latest travel fiasco they’ve hit me with.

I put in for R&R with a departure from Sharjah (an airport in the UAE) to Tashkent. They have a direct flight from there 2 days a week, at a fare of somewhere around $600. I think the one I looked at left around noon, and arrived about 3PM.

The proposed itinerary I got has me leaving from Dubai (still in the UAE) at 2:50AM with a 4ish hour flight to Istanbul, where I wait 12 hours, and take a 3-4 hour flight to Tashkent, which arrives at 1:15AM. Add in a couple hours each side and you have a hell of a long day. This ticket is almost $1200. I advised them this was not an acceptable option. Smile

Somebody’s a schmuck…just don’t know who. Just not gonna let it be me. Wink

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