Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Planning, Packing and Mailing

Planning, Packing and Mailing
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
8:44:00 AM CDT

13 April 2004

I have been keeping pretty busy since my arrival in Qatar - both professionally and socially. Friday I did end up going back and buying that 9 X 11.5 foot rug for the dining room. The trick now is going to be getting it home! The rug shop would send it Fedex to Chicago, but then someone would have to pick it up at Chicago O'Hare. Did I forget to mention that they wanted $500 to ship it? I'm going to try to send it USPS, but there is a 70 pound limit. I think that it is under 70 pounds, but with container I don't know yet. A friend of Rudy's was able to spare me a double thick cardboard box. Last night I had to re-roll the rug and cut down the box a foot off the top. I will try to send it out tomorrow. Today I am shipping one of my duffle bags to myself so that I don't have to drag it through the airport at Qatar and Kuwait again.

The other duffle I will take with me. That one has my sleeping bag, flak jacket and kevelar helmet. I may need it on my return trip - so I'm told. I spoke with my site supervisor on Sunday. He advised me that they ahve been taking mortars at Victory, but more outgoing than incoming. He also let me know that if I arrive at the airport after dark, I will be sleeping there. They are under restrictions for night travel even to the airport which is in a green zone. So he says to make sure that I have my sleeping bag. Maybe it is a good thing that I brought everything *and* the kitchen sink.

I was going to try to return to Baghdad via a direct flight out of the US Airbase here at Al Udeid. This would save me time instead of going from Doha, Qatar to Kuwait City on a commercial flight, then Kuwait back to Baghdad via US Air Force C130. But it has been determined that since I've processed through the Qatari via system, it would be good for me not to get my passport stamp for departure; particularly if I have to come back down here at a later date. The last guy this happened to had to pay a QR10,000 (about $3000 US) fine for visa violations.
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