Randomness

None of these quite make a whole post alone, but together they do.
I paid $9 for internet last night so I could call my wife on Skype. It was the best connection I’ve had since I’ve been here. I gave her a tour of my CHU (containerized housing unit) and caught up with her — well worth the money spent. She said the CHU looked nicer than the hotel room we rented in Barcelona. She was right.
Last night an owl swooped in front of the car I was riding in and flew infront of us for about 15 seconds. The sergeant who was driving said it was the first time he’d seen an owl in Iraq.
A contractor in Kuwait showed me photos from when he was in the military on active duty of people blown apart by suicide bombers. He said if people saw what really went on back then they’d want all the soldiers to come home. He was heading to Afghanistan to work on deisel engines. I asked why he came back. He said he wanted to do his part to support the troops.
The C-130 had a little funnel near the rear of the plane where you can urinate. It was not set up for women.
The MRAP has eight passenger seats, four to a side, facing frontwards and backwards. That’s the “comfort” setup, but the walls of the MRAP are angled to deflect IED blasts, so your outside leg gets incredibly uncomfortable, and the four point harnesses make it hard to pivot.
A contractor who had spent time in the military told me “If you aren’t in line, get in line. If you can’t find one, start one.”
There are more contractors than military here. According to one person, it’s about 70,000 to 50,000.
The food, when its from the DFAC (dining facility) is pretty good, but I’ve only eaten one meal there. The prepackaged stuff is a little scary.
The SUV I rode in today had armor in the door — it felt like it was 50 lbs.
There were no palm trees in Kuwait, and no birds. Baghdad has lots of palm trees, and I saw a bird as soon as I walked out of the airport. Someone told me they have seen rabbits and wild dogs too, but no camels.
I’ve barely eaten over the last three days because my body has no idea what meal it should be expecting.
The contractors I met at Ali Al Salem were all Americans and former military. In Baghdad there are contractors of all nationalities.
There are lots of guns.
The Baghdad airport has these towers that track incoming mortars and shoot them out of the sky. One of the contractors told me they shoot something like 1,000 rounds a second.
The bases all still take IDF (indirect fire) but it isn’t targeted so it rarely hits anything. I have yet to hear any, but it still scares me.
It rained in Baghdad a couple days ago, and now there is mud everywhere. “It only takes a little bit,” a soldier told me.

One thought on “Randomness

  1. Now this is what I’ve been waiting for – how you pee, what you eat (or don’t eat), transportation, and wildlife.

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