So there are like a billion dudes on the KIV, compared to a few hundred women. Anyone with boobs gets stared at all the time, especially by the foreign guys (and especially the Georgians and Afghans for whatever reason). At first it’s kinda flattering—hey, people think I’m attractive!—but after a few days it becomes obnoxious, then disturbing, and then infuriating. I hold my head either down or up to ignore the constant staring, to the point I want to stop in the middle of the road and scream, “Stop fucking staring at me!”
For such a small space, the KIV has a lot of poorly-lit areas. It’s a strange sensation walking through these dead zones and fearing, even just a little bit, that someone might jump and rape you despite the gun strapped to your thigh.
Three or four or five hours later, I can’t keep track anymore, we finally reached Al Udeid, Qatar!
All I know is I looked at my watch, and it was two days after we left Norfolk, VA. We were officially in theater (CENTCOM). We dragged our sorry asses off the plane, picked up some extra gear—body armor and sleeping bags—then dumped all our crap in a holding area next to the terminal. Finally, we were herded like cattle through a succession of rooms to fill out paperwork and get briefings on terrorism and where the chow halls were, two extremely important things (“This is where the food is, and this is who might shoot you on your way to the food.”). Continue reading “On My Way to Kabul, Part 3”
After the Portsmouth Hero’s Walk, the 300 or so of us got back onto the giant plane and took a loooong-ass flight to Germany!
Except for that whole Nazi business, I’ve heard good things about the country, so I looked forward to really experiencing Deutschland. I’m sad to say that Hahn Air Base was, well, less than exciting. I expected lederhosen and accordions, like, everywhere, but instead we got a sad little airport with a hotdog and a beer stand. The beer stand might not sound too bad, in theory, but the reality is that most people – maybe just me – don’t want beer after they’ve been awake for almost 24 hours, unless you’re on crack or something.
However, one guy I was traveling with did tell me this gem of a story: “Man, last time I was here, people got off the plane and got totally wasted. Like, they were making little forts with beer bottles and puking their guts out in the bathroom. It was so bad the toilets overflowed and the pilot had to cut them off. When we got back on the plane, it was not fun.” Continue reading “On My Way to Kabul, Part 2”
It takes a long-ass time to get to Afghanistan from the US.
First, I flew from Boston to Norfolk, where I hung out waiting for a day.
Maybe one of the flight attendants took pity on my teary-snotty self, because I got bumped or something to a first-class seat, which happened to be the nicest plane seat I’ve ever sat in. There was an option to transform the seat into a bed! Hellz yeah!