Monday, February 16, 2004

They Don't Fly a 777 Like That!

They Don't Fly a 777 Like That!
Monday, February 16, 2004
2:15:00 AM CST

11 Feb 2004

It was a great flight. The pilot had warned us ahead of time not to be alarmed at our approach into Baghdad. The approach is pretty much a 240 degree turn and a dive into the runway! Very interesting and kind of exciting. They don't fly a 777 like that!

We checked into the receiving tent at Baghdad Airport and Lee called the ITT Rep to come pick up the four of us. We were taken over to Camp Victory on the southwest side of Baghdad Intl Airport. Oh, btw, we don't actually use the international terminal. There are a cluster of tents and jamesways set up as the military terminal across the runways from the international terminal. Supposedly, the airport may open up to commercial service in June or so. When you look across the runways at the international terminal, you see the old Iraqui Airlines planes sitting on the tarmac. Looks a bit spooky at that side of the airport, kind of like that side is still stuck in a timewarp.

Got taken over to the TCF/Telecom Building on Victory and met some of the people. The site mgr, supervisor and a couple of my co-workers. They sounded surprised that they were getting another tech controller. Who knows? After this we were taken to our tent that we would soon learn to love and call home. OMG! Have you ever seen Edwin Muench's "The Scream"? Well then, just breath into the bag and you won't hyperventilate!

I'd like to say that it was actually better than that and that I'm not overreacting, but I can't! Ok, I'll get used to it. And if I don't get used to it, I will come to tolerate it every payday for one year! Maybe I need to start my short-timers calendar now and avoid the rush. For the uninitiated, a short-timers calendar is a countdown calendar used to count down the days until you leave.

As I write this, we have been hearing constant gunfire in the distance. Reminds me of my two weeks in Guatemala. I'm sure that I'll sleep though. Noon here seems too whigged out about it, so I'll kind of follow their lead. Well, I'm exhausted. Time for bed. More later.
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