Deployment: Rockin’ The Casbah

This post comes from yet another intermediate step in the journey between Home and Afghanistan. My previous stop as you all know was still there in the good old U.S. of A., in Georgia. By now you also know that I was mainly doing three things there: training, equipping, and waiting.

So my new location is here in Kuwait. Precise location is classified, but given the size of Kuwait it wouldn’t really take a long time to find anything or anyone here. My one and only task at this sunny stopover is to wait. In Kuwait. You could call it Kuwaiting. I prefer to call it purgatory.

There is some upside to this:

Chow. Wow, talk about variety, and four times a day given the fact that poor fuckwits like yours truly are arriving at all hours of the day from about nine different time zones around the world. One thing the Army does fairly well is feed itself, and this place is above average. There’s even an ice cream bar with 31 Flavors right in the mess hall*. More Rants will leave Kuwait than arrived.

More Chow. Aside from the mess hall, there’s Subway, McD’s, KFC, and Pizza Hut. For a fee, of course, but also like an opportunity for one last taste of home. Even more Rants departing.

Down Time. After you get swiped in and stow your shit – all four densely-packed duffels of neutronium – everyone’s main job here is to be patient while they match your ass with a seat in the next thing smokin’ to where you need to be. In my case, that’s Kabul. In the meantime, I’m catching up on reading and sleep.

And of course the downside:

Accountability: The Army has this fetish for making sure people are where they’re supposed to be. This place takes it to new levels. Thrice daily we migrate through the sand like camouflaged wildebeests to stand and have ourselves counted. Someone’s apparently concerned I’ll wander off through the fifty layers of barbed wire security and off into the featureless desert. And miss the ice cream bar? Damn, Sergeant, the shit you say!

Lighting: Tents here sleep between six and twenty, and as noted all occupants may well be from varying time zones. So generally the lights stay on all the time in the tent. Makes little difference to me since I can sleep through my own snoring.

Internet access: There’s precisely one location with wi-fi, and me and everyone else with a laptop and an internet fetish is gathered around it like the one last waterhole of the Serengeti. The wireless router has no chance whatsoever in keeping up. If I lean in close to my laptop, I can hear the wireless card yelling, “One… zero… zero… one… one… one… zero… one…”

Weather: In case you didn’t know, Kuwait’s major terrain features are sand dunes, so there’s not a lot of anything to slow down the wind, which is full of sand straight out of Saudi Arabia. In the summer it’s like being inside a hair dryer except hotter. Right now it’s only like being in a paintstripping booth – as the object being cleaned.

Hopefully, if the wi-fi zone isn’t completely overrun, I can send another. Then again, I’m thinking I’d just rather be in Afghanistan  now.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

* “Mess Hall” – Where you go to eat. Also called a ‘Dining Facility’ or DFAC (dee-fack) for short.

—–

Readers: I’ve autoposted this as-of 26 April 2012. I flew to Kuwait on 27 APR 12. Given the described internet service situation, I figured autoposting would be best. Comment at your own risk. Next update to be ‘live,’ and from Kabul, Afghanistan.

So, much as Elvis left the building, Rants has left the Country.

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42 Responses to “Deployment: Rockin’ The Casbah”

  1. Wonder if there will be more Rants leaving. I would guess with the amount of sweating in the desert you would just break even.
    Stay safe!

  2. savorthefolly Says:

    so let me get this straight – you just made up all this shit based on how you assume Kuwaiting will be? and the next post will be you making up a bunch of shit about how you predict Kabul will be?

  3. 31 flavors??? It sounds like you are in the food court of a mall in Ohio with all of that food! Probably better than RTE’s, eh?

  4. Hmm, too weird, actually thought of you when I woke up this morning. I know that just sounds odd. But glad you’re Kuwaiting safely.

  5. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    Just be safe.

  6. Good old Ali. Don’t forget the Chinese restaurant behind the post office- The food there is pretty good. The base was a lot more comfortable when I went through a couple of months ago than it was in early 2011.

  7. I’m having some serious wordpress issues which kinda gets in the way of commenting so, yeah…… But I can see you have a lot more issues to be dealing with 😉 .

    And dude, when you say you’re in Kuwait, that almost my neck of the woods! 😀 wouldn’t it be cool if you could drop by Oman on the way back or something! 😀
    Also, and I pretty sure it’s true, my friends studying in the US tell me that KFC and McD have the largest default serving size in the middle east of all places 😛 . So enjoy that while you’re there .

    Also, this isn’t peak summer, that comes at the beginning of June at that point it’s 50 degree celsius in the shade. Everyday for a month and a half 🙂 .

  8. Glad you’re enjoying a few tastes of home. I hear, by the way, *coughcough* that pit bull tastes pretty good.

  9. I’m just glad you’re safe. Well fed is good too. Missing your special brand of posting & ranting.

  10. Makes you wonder, who looked at all the sand and wind and said, “Hey, this looks like a good place to live.”

  11. Chow times two?! That’s definitely an upside. I’m guessing Kabul isn’t so stellar on the dining options?
    Enjoy the rest and reading time!

  12. My brother worked in the Pentagon for some time and I was really surprised that those same chains you mention were in the cafeteria there. I don’t know what I expected, but since it’s the Pentagon you’d think it’d be, I don’t know… Applebees, at least?

  13. John Erickson Says:

    It’s a good thing they enclosed the chow hall. Otherwise, you’d have to be careful not to get the sand which is there into the sandwiches there. (Rimshot.)
    Sorry, my jokes are like me – oldies but goodies. I wish you all the patience in the world (and then some – 1st world bureaucracy in a 3rd world country is just TERRIFYING to contemplate). Keep smilin’ – it makes others wonder what you’ve been up to! 😀

  14. May your deployment be safe, and your return be swift.

  15. Hope they don’t run out of your favorite flavor while there! Be well.

  16. why am I here in a handbasket? Says:

    sam kinison said it best. LIVE WHERE THE FOOD IS! YOU LIVE IN A DESERT! YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING DESERT! NOTHING GROWS OUT HERE! NOTHING’S GONNA GROW OUT HERE! YOU SEE THIS? HUH? THIS IS SAND. KNOW WHAT IT’S GONNA BE A HUNDRED YEARS FROM NOW? IT’S GONNA BE SAND!

  17. People who didn’t even know you exist, 20 minutes ago, worry!

    Candles and “Get home safe JuJu” for you ~

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