Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Personal Coachman for a Day

Personal Coachman for a Day
Tuesday, March 9, 2004
11:01:00 PM CST

09 Mar 2004

This was supposed to be a lazy day-off. Started out getting up at 0815 and ran my 2 miles around the little lake. I'm working up to the 4 miles around the big lake. Gathered up my clothes to wash a load at the office. Here is where my plans started to derail. Charlie came down from Taji yesterday and was leaving for Doha enroute to Anaconda. Keep in mind that managment only gave her an hour notice to say, "Pack it up, girl. You're moving out in an hour" Justification of the short notice was that their comms have been down for the past week. No official email, no phone available. Well, they could have contacted someone by personal email. ITT Middle East does not have a domain, so all official email is sent via Yahoo personal boxes!

Anyway, back to the story. Eve was taking Charlie over to BIAP to catch a flight and asked if I wanted to go. Sure, why not. I've got nothing better to do today. Should have known where this was going when Charlie looked at me and said, "That's my duffel over there," and then stuck her nose in the air, did an about face and walked out of the door (without her duffel, mind you). Being the gentleman I was raised to be by my parents and grandparents, I dutifully picked up the duffel and brought it out to the Pathfinder. Little did I know that I had just set a precident for the day.

We ran into Ziggy (Dan) on the way out and dragged him along too. Next stop was the transitory tent to pick up Emelda's other boxes of shoes! I forgot that last night when we helped her in on arrival that she had about seven boxes along with everything else. She had to finish packing again. Then she strutted out and advised us that she was ready and the other cases and trunk were in the tent for us to fetch. Now I knew why Eve brought us. The lady-in-waiting isn't supposed to be handling her highness, the Princess' heavy bags.

We got on the road and got up to the airport and needed to stop for lunch. Eve had mentioned that she wanted to try the Bob Hope Chow Hall right there at BIAP. Great Chow!! That was the best tasting chow Ive had since I been away from home, (not counting last Friday night on Victory when we had shrimp creole, lobster, crabs legs and steak). This was the chow hall the President Bush ate at when he came to Baghdad last Thanksgiving. And before you ask, no we didn't have to cut her food for her.

From there, we went to the military airport to see when flights would be going outbound to Doha. No more flights to Doha today. 9 a.m. tomorrow and a 0930 to Balad-Anaconda! So, she can fly directly to Anaconda tomorrow. Charlie decided to stay at the transitory tent at the airport so that we wouldn't have to move her bags again...and I do mean we--Eve, Ziggy and me. We three fetched The Princess' bags from the Pathfinder three tents away and carried them over to her cot at the far end.

We said our goodbyes and gave her a hug for the road and a "good luck." She did say thank you in the end, so I didn't feel quite so "used". But she didn't get the hint when I held my hand out for my tip.
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