Thursday, November 18, 2004

U2 Again, And That Ain't Music to Our Ears

U2 Again, And That Ain't Music to Our Ears
18 November 2004

Well, Ramadan is over, why haven't the rockets stopped? Although it has been a bit quieter than last week, we are still taking incoming. Almost as soon as our Force Protection Level is lowered to a U1 (no flak vests/Kevlar) it gets upgraded again to U2 or U3 (flak vests and Kevlar required. U2 or U3 identify the hours needed - i.e. 1600 until 0001, or 7X24). Working mids, you never know what the force protection level is going to be when you wake up. They used to post signs on the bathroom doors, but not recently. If you're in the office, you get email indicating Force Protection changes, but we have no access to the computer at our trailer. So we normally don't find out that we require flak vests and Kevlar helmet until we try to go to enter the chow hall and they turn you back because you aren't in the proper uniform. Trudge all the way back to the trailer and get the flak vest and helmet and then back to the chow hall. I'm ready to be a civilian again!

Got rocked awake during the day by a couple of rockets that landed at the west end and some that sounded like they landed over at BIAP (Baghdad Intl Airport). The hit trailer over on row B was also hauled away today. It's still kind of spooky to walk over there at night. With no moon, it gets pretty dark here.

Haven't had much rain either over the last week. A few sprinkles here and there, but no gully-washers. Weather is actually much cooler now. Nights are getting down to probably 55-60 and days can vary. Yesterday was probably about 80, but today was about 70.

Seeing more mail, especially boxes come in through the US mail now that Fallujah is done. Also seeing more stuff in the PX and forks again in the chow hall. Do you know how hard it is to eat steak or even chicken with only plastic spoons and knives? How about spaghetti without a fork? At least if we had chopsticks, I could have managed. I'm so sick of eating with plastic silverware, I could vomit...and you thought it was due to the food! Desparate times call for desparate measures. For anyone thinking about coming here, do yourself a favor and bring a personal set of silverware. To eat off of an actual stainless steel fork and spoon and cut with a real knife is a luxury here since any silverware that's not plastic is virtually non-existant.

See, I'm back to myself again...complaining about the trival things! Nothing a good shopping trip won't cure. But I've been forbidden to purchase anymore Oriental carpets. I'm sure I'll find something to buy to keep my spirits up over the next eight weeks.
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