Thursday, July 22, 2004

It's a Small World

It's a Small World
22 July 2004

I'm going to take most of this entry from an email that I sent to a friend earlier this week. It kind of sums up the last week or so.

Sorry that I've been so out of touch lately. I just got switched to midnight shift (8pm to 8 am) and my body and mind are still adjusting. Three of our people from our shop, who all happened to be night crew were abruptly sent to Abu Gharib to provide support there. We knew that it was coming, just didn't know how soon, or actually, this soon. So my supervisor really didn't have any choice in the matter, but we had already spoken about me possibly having to go to nights earlier, so it wasn't a shock. Who cares anyway, the days are all blended together. Nothing new. The sun comes up each day, the wind blows the dust around to choke you and by noon, it's hotter than hell outside. Just like Groundhog Day except at 130 degrees.

I am starting to get psyched about my London vacation in late August. I'm really looking forward to getting out of here for awhile. Deb and I have planned a trip to Stonehenge, and at least one theater show. We're going to try to get tickets to Mamma Mia! It's one that Deb hasn't seen before and she thinks that the ABBA music should appeal to all four of us going. I'd like to get tickets to the Shakespear theater too since it is so close to where we will be. We are still waiting on the tickets for the changing of the keys (Yeoman's watch) at the tower. Deb wrote off for those tickets about five weeks ago, so they should be back to her soon.

The way it's looking right now, I'm hoping to arrive in London a day or so ahead of them, but people have been getting held up in Kuwait for lack of outbound flights, so it's probably better that I have a couple of days to play with. My outbound from London to Kuwait City is also two days after their departure. The flights to Kuwait were packed. So, I will have a couple of days to chill out and collect my thoughts before having to come back to Baghdad.

The weather here has been getting hotter. Today was probably as close to 130F as we have had so far. My roommate and I put out old Gatorade bottles for sun tea and by noon, you can hardly touch the hot bottles. Kuwait has already seen temps at135F, so we know it is coming our way soon. Just a side note, if you have any friends or soldiers here in Iraq, send them the dry Gatorade mix. It is almost impossible to get here and we go through bottled water and Gatorade like there is no tomorrow. The AFFES PX also charges $1.75 per one quart bottle of premixed Gatorade! At home I used to get it on sale for $0.99. Yeah, AFFES goes where we go because they know they can gouge us with their prices!

I got to see my brother-in-law, Mark (Deb's husband) a couple of days ago. He's working for Dyncorp doing guard and escort duty. He floats between BIAP, Victory, North Victory and CPA-Downtown Baghdad. I was busy the night he stopped in, so I couldn't spend as much time as I would have liked. But it was great to see a familiar face and family at that. At the time Mark stopped in, I was working a scheduled downtime with DISA at Scott AFB in Illinois. Oddly enough, the guy I was working with, I used to work with in the Air Force at Kalkar AS, Germany back in 1984. I told him to hold a minute because my brother-in-law just stopped in for a visit. He thought that I was pulling his leg. It's a small world after all. (Will that song ever stop going through my head?)

Other than that, not too too much exciting is happening here. As far as your question about when I'm coming home; don't know exactly yet. I do miss home. I miss my family and friends. I miss Phil and the dogs. I miss my own bed. I miss my own private toilet. And I miss my deep soaking bathtub and those moments alone with Mr. Bubble and a cold beverage every so often. But I also know that my bills are slowly but surely getting paid off. I just want Visa to stop being everywhere that I want to be.

I guess the best answer to when I'm going to be home is...soon.
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