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So Much For That

Saturday, November 13th, 2004

I’m at what you might refer to as a low point right now. I was supposed to be leaving for Dubai to spend a few days with the love of my life, but they have some new idiotic visa rule that prevents that. So we changed plans to try Turkey instead. Some other visa problem rears it’s ugly head so they have to get them in advance instead of gratuitous visa on arrival. It all boils down to needing several extra days and / or significant cost increase. So in the end I just aborted this trip. It sucks because I was already in motion, and had spent some effort, not to mention some money, on the Turkey option in a brilliant masterstroke of making do. I’m going to go back to the Palace now. This really sucks. But I’m down to about only 7 weeks before giving up on this for my long break anyway. I’m still pretty heavily weighted down by disappointment.

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.

Change Of Plans

Saturday, July 31st, 2004

Well…it seems I am not going to Uzbekistan. Just when I thought I was going to get out of here and that LOGCAP was done screwing up everything they touch, they get in one last jab, and boy was it a doozy. I’m of course glad to know they are only looking out for me. Evil or Very Mad

So now I am apparently heading to Malaysia instead. Suffice for now to say that I had a sticky set of criteria to work within, to meet both my goals of seeing my special someone, and not doing anything to get myself fired. I will be leaving this job under my own power, at a time of my own choosing. It certainly made mincemeat of one of my other goals though, but there isn’t a whole lot I can do about that, and the possibility of changing the circumstances on that one doesn’t leave me anything to work with. It’s kind of hard to meet the parents if you can’t get in the country.

Oh I could, don’t get me wrong. I could do it, and in a way that they couldn’t prove anything, either. But if they decided to check up on me (a definite sure were I heading to an alternate ‘stan) they’d find the lack of findable proof as reason enough to fire me for some bullshit alternate reason anyways. It’d be simpler for them that way.

It’s funny — I’m not sure on what planet Uz wouldn’t be safer than the U.S., but goddamn if I can’t go to one because it’s dangerous…

Rant over. I gotta figure out interesting stuff to see and do in Malaysia.

PS – If you don’t follow the news, none of that made any sense. They had a few bombings in Tashkent again.

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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