Wednesday, December 03, 2008

In Kuwait…finally

30 November 2008

I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to get out of Baghdad. All day Saturday, it rained cats and dogs. Fortunately, there seems to finally be enough rock down in most of the places that count so that the mud is somewhat reduced…except in the streets. Even the suggestion of liquid coming down from the sky turns the fine dust in the streets turn into a soupy pea soup slurry.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they had sidewalks all over the base, but they’ve yet to put sidewalks along the most traveled pedestrian areas, ie the very pedestrian crowded streets leading to the Green Bean coffee shop where the all the shops are and additionally along a busy street leading to the Medical clinic. (Go figure. If you’re not in bad enough shape to require an ambulance to get to medical help, you will be when you’re hit by some Humvee driven by Sgt Mario Andretti. Don’t laugh, it happened last year. The poor soldier ended up with a broken pelvis. And we joke in Chicago that if you’re going to “buy the farm” let it be by a Bentley and not a cab! Imagine the stigma of being run down by a Humvee. Oh the humanity!)

Add to that the issue of the MP’s only pulling over civilians because it is too much hassle to ticket Sgt Snuffy for going over the speed limits…that and the fact that turn signals are completely optional for the military but required for civilians.) But the military certainly have had plenty of concrete the last two years to pave parking lots all over creation here on Victory.

I’m finally beginning to understand that success in winning the war on terrorism is only measured and truly accomplished by the amount of concrete parking lots you can lay down in Iraq.

More on the subject of pains in my ass…

The flight desk told me on Saturday evening that my call-time for my flight was at 1330 Sunday afternoon. Got there with plenty of time to spare and all they say then is..."oh, the flight has been pushed back 6 hours." That’s when you know it’s going to be a long one!

So we end up sitting on our thumbs for six hours, only to find out the plane landed in Baghdad, but wasn't going to take "Leg 1"…neither was it going to take us ("Leg 2") to Kuwait where it was headed back to because of mechanical problems. Now we know this is not looking good. Okay, it’s time to start wondering if they are going to cancel the flight.

The C17 flew back to Kuwait, they repaired the front landing gear, flew back to Baghdad, took Leg 1 and arrived back in Baghdad at 0245am this morning to take us...Leg 2 to Kuwait. Fortunately, the crew got permission to run a complete mission back to Kuwait and we boarded finally at 0300...arriving in Kuwait at 0400.

But the baggage people were slow, so it took our luggage until 0530 to get to Ali As Salem. Yep, I'm kinda tired. I slept from 0630 till about 1100am and am now finishing up shopping and wondering around Ali As Salem before trying to catch a few more zzzz's. This is the part about traveling out of Baghdad that is in the realm identified as a pain in the butt! More later.
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