Travel Thoughts

Oh, hi.  What’s up out there in blog world?  Same shit, I see.  Interesting development for Rants going on here – I’m on what we call “Mid-Tour Leave.”  This means that I get a break from the daily bullshit in Kharjackistan and am allowed some time in the ‘States.  Of course, I have to rant about this, mainly because I’m not entirely sure the break is worth the effort.

Anyone who’s gone anywhere on an airplane can tell you that in spite of the asshattery that airlines use to keep you on your toes, getting from Point A to Point B is fairly straightforward.  Add a military flavor to that and everything gets confused.  Sitting here in Kansas, in the aftermath of days worth of travel, about all I can come up with are some random observations:

Thanks, USAF.  You know, Southwest can load an airplane in thirty minutes without handing out by-name, by-seat assignments.  Our Air Force requires seven hours.  Yes, people.  Seven. Fucking. Hours.  This involves several mandatory roll-calls, more briefings than I can remember, and waiting.

Kuwait? No, more like, ‘YouWait.’  I managed to go from Kabul to Kuwait in under eight hours using only a Russian helicopter and a C-17 (English: really fucking big airplane).  Once in Kuwait, I fell into Enforced Down Time.  This involved laying around eating, sleeping and reading while we all waited for the next aircraft.  This lasted two and a half days.  Several others took off, but those were for people with weapons.  Going on leave?  You take no weapon, so therefore you must ride a different aircraft.  Makes sense, no? No.

Layover.  Sometimes efficiency means you go with a smaller airplane and make more stops.  So all of us who finally made it to the actual chartered aircraft got to see Romania from the little windows and then Iceland, at least one terminal’s worth of it.  I’ll say one thing for Iceland: they are some airplane engine repairing wizards.  We only spent two additional hours there watching Bjork-looking people mill about violently and staring at us.  I ate a sandwich involving salmon.  Do not recommend you try this.

Time.  Even after getting here sometime almost 30 hours after liftoff from Kuwait, I’m not entirely sure what time it is.  My RantTop computer says “7:28PM,” but I know that’s Kabul time.  I know I nearly missed Romania because I was asleep, and some of the other many legs of the journey are equally dim.  I think it’s morning now in Kansas, mainly because the sun is out but it’s quiet outside.

Pain.  There is nothing quite like starting a migraine while you’re trapped in a thin metal tube hurtling along somewhere over the frozen northern regions of the Earth.  I’ll tell you that airline crews are not helpful because they’re not allowed to share drugs like Motrin and Tylenol to prevent the crawling, throbbing thing in my head from exploding outward, Alien-style.  Since I didn’t address this properly at the early onset, now I get to enjoy this for the next two days or so.  Yay me.

Automatic Ball Return.  And after my fifteen days of parole?  Yep, I get to do all of this in reverse, to include Iceland.

I’m going now, to find some meds.

28 Responses to “Travel Thoughts”

  1. Welcome back to the land of Same Shit Different Pile…..SOTU was a gas (methane)….more like a pre-game pep rally than a concrete report on how we’re doing and what is being done about it.

  2. Well you certainly made my latest frenzy of travel look light-weight. Can’t believe you made that level of effort when there are so many gems way closer, or would that go against one of the multitude of bull shit rules you military types adhere to? Good luck with the migraine, the one inside and the one outside your head.

  3. I hate long air trips. I remember a layover in Alaska once. It was dark. Couldn’t see shit. One of the guys said, “cool. Now I’ve been to Alaska.” I looked out into the pitch black airport and shrugged. “Yeah, right. Take a picture and send it home. Everyone will love it.”

    Fucking Alaska. It’s beautiful, they say, but in the dark, you might as well be shut in a closet somewhere. Of course, then it was back in the tin can for another 8 hours with two hundred farting jarheads.

    I’m going to Hawaii this summer for vacation. My wife freaks out on aircraft, so she’ll be on tranks all the way. My kids have a tendency to fight with each other, so they’ll have to be separated. There are only three seats in a row, so I’ll end up sitting next to strangers. That usually doesn’t work too well. But screw it. I’m going to Maui, so what do I care? Give me a book and a couple of gin an tonics, and I’ll get through it.

  4. demuzzled Says:

    Kansas huh? Ft Riley?

  5. Yay! So glad you get a break for a little while!
    Between the waiting, the violent staring (what is this exactly?), and the migraine though, it sounds like a hell of a trip to make…
    I prescribe lots of beer and bacon to make this stay as awesome as possible. 🙂 And a visit to Mama Rants.

  6. Welcome back to this continent! Sounds like a rough trip – I hate to fly so this would have been a nightmare for me. I would have to have been unconscious for most of it! Take care of your head & write when you can. Welcome back!

  7. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    Sorry about the migraine, but woohoo – you are home! Enjoy your downtime!

  8. Sorry about the pain in the head – ranting helps? Glad you’re back for a bit. Have fun

  9. welcome back temporarily…so how long is your actual leave? Was it 20 days before you started flying? Do you lose 10 days due to travel? You might want to spend your time making wings, you might get back faster…although getting back slowly might be better.

    • Slow is fine with me, actually, but the process… ugh. And it’s 15 days starting from the time I arrive in the USA, so the asshattery time is not counted against me. Yay.

  10. Congrats on hitting the halfway point, congrats on travelling with rants intact.
    Sonunds like it may be easier to fly commercial to as close as you can, then getting a car for the rest…

  11. Enjoy the change of scenery, change of weather, change of company, my friend!
    (Might want to score some of Mrs. WriterDood’s tranks for the trip back!)

  12. Don’t have it set to get a message every time you post. This every-day thing has me behind. Sorry for the usual bueaucratic bullshit. You probably come to expect it, but never to like it. Welcome back to the land of In-N-Outs.

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