Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another Fun-filled Day in the Sandbox

19 February 2008

When I got into work yesterday, I'd seen an article about it on yahoo news and thought I'd better send at least a little something out to let everyone know everything is alright.

Compliments of our wonderful neighbor (indirectly, of course) Uncle Ahmadinejad, we had 16 incoming assorted mortars and rockets Monday afternoon. They hit over about a 15 in period. I wasn't too worried though because my trailer is now surrounded by 12 foot concrete barriers they finished putting in last week. But I'm surprised the "big voice" isn't horse after all that! In case you aren't familiar with what I'm talking about, the big voice is the alarm that screams "Incoming, Incoming, Incoming!"

It just kept screaming, over and over and over like some broken record, "Incoming, Incoming, Incoming". That and the booms finally woke me out of my ever-so-restful sleep cuz the walls were breathing from the impacts. It's been awhile since we've had so many at once falling out of the sky.

Not that I was worried, cuz I rolled over and went back to sleep after the noise was over. Didn't even walk outside to look for smoke! My sister says I've been here too long if I could roll over and go back to sleep and not even check outside for smoke. But what's the worry? At this point, if you're alive to hear the booms, everything is okay. It's the one you don't hear that gets you and then it's all done but the cremation pyre...well, that and facing St Peter. When your number's called, you can't exactly hit the snooze button for those five more minutes!

21 February 2008

We had quite a sandstorm here yesterday that finally seems to have let up some. It started out like fog and just kind of hung around for 36 hours or so. The skies are bright blue this morning and planes are flying again after the sand in the air cleared last night. Now I'm hoping it hasn't set back the schedule of people leaving too much to impact my hopeful departure for vacation.

Can you tell I'm anxious to leave for vacation? With lots of luck, I'm leaving on Saturday for Kuwait and then have to give the Kuwaiti's 3 dinar for the pleasure of hanging out there till the passport is processed. After my 3 dinar goes into the Emir's pocket and my passport is stamped in, then I can leave for Berlin on an 0200 flight Monday morning.

Of course, now that I'm reading more about Berlin, three days won't be enough, but at least it will be a chance to see the city since I've never been there before. But I'm certainly planning what I'll see in the three short days I'll be there. I had my down winter jacket, a hat and gloves shipped from home since the weather is still winter there. Only to look this morning on weather.com and find that in the 10 day forecast, it is supposed to be 60F the day I arrive and in the upper 50's the other days.

Oh well, not like I was going to make a trip to the Kit Kat Club (http://www.kitkatclub.de)(think the likes of Liza in Cabaret) walking down the street in my ass-less chaps and chest harness (don't laugh...it could happen!) for their fetish night full of partying...But alas my dreams of partying down a the Kit Kat Club are already dashed since it is only open on Fridays and Saturdays. Making a trip to Berlin in the middle of the week is a complete buzz-kill if you're thinking of a trip to Berlin for the clubbing at all the trendy places!

I guess I'll just have to settle for the more ordinary style of sight-seeing. I am strongly thinking of the Pergamon Museum to see the elaborate Middle Eastern collection which includes temples and such like Ishtar - the Great Gate of Babylon among other wonders. I'm also hoping to see the Reichstag, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (just down the street from where I'm staying at the Swissotel), the Brandenberg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie among other places high on my list.

I wanted to do the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen and also would love to see Sanssouci in Charlottenburg as well as Spandau, but there are only so many hours in a day. I was afraid that three days would only be a tease, but at least I'll get a taste of Berlin that will hopefully leave me wanting to come back again soon.

But honestly, it is all about some fresh Weissbier, unbelievable German cuisine and the chance to refamiliarize that thick tongue of mine with the German language. The good German beer always has a way of breaking down the barriers and helping me remember my German. I'm sure I'll somehow get by with my Ami-dialected Deutsch.

More later once I'm enroute. Gotta go to bed right now. I'm about spent and needing some sleep. These 72 and 84 hour work-weeks are killing me lately. What I wouldn't give for two extra hours of sleep! Soonly...
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