Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Iraq - Day 3

Weather forecast in Baghdad: Windy, dusty, highs in the 90s near 100.  Yuck.  The sun looked quite odd today.  It was not the usual bright yellow that is too bright to look at for more than a second.  It looked more like a dim silver dollar than the sun.  A colleague told me that I would see something bazaar just about every day.  That qualifies.

There is a stark lack of color here in camp.  There is color other than brown.  There are the cars and signs and some plants, but they are all muted with dust seemingly covering everything.

I'm getting my bearings slowly but surely.  On day 2, I can now find my way to work, to the toilet, to the shower, and to the DiFac (which is short for Dining Facility).  I have a pretty good idea how to get to the nearby PX (store) and fast food restaurants.  In case you are interested, the choices are Green Bean (like Starbucks), Pizza Hut, Subway, and one or two others.  The food in the DiFacs is good, but I'm sure that I'll be looking for a change of pace before long.

I keep hearing shooting in the distance.  I'm almost certain that this is the local firing range.  No one in the office has commented on it as yet.  They have picked up on my nick-name are are calling me Special K and not just one-on-one, but in front of the officers in this section.  I think it is meant as a compliment.  I'm taking it that way until proven different.

I'm still hoping to get my luggage tomorrow night.  There are so many things in there that I really need.  Without them I am reduced to begging for rides, escorts, and some supplies.  We work 12 hours a day, so that has not given me any time to go back to the PX to try to pick some things up.  I would really love to have a comb right now.  I'm not really sure what the effect of being without my medications for 4 days is going to be.  I'll be sure not to let it effect me too much before I take action.  I'm just hoping to get through to tomorrow night.   If the bags don't show up then, I'm not sure what I'll have to do.

I knew coming in that there would be difficulties and I'm dealing with them so far.  I got into this because I felt it was the right thing to do.  The idea of the adventure and testing myself (which I really haven't done in a while) were also factors.  Of course, I knew that I would have to do it all with a good attitude (something that does not come naturally to me).  I just hate that I'm having to remind myself of these things so often in the first 36 hours.


Anonymous said...

Establishing a rhythm is key. Shower, eat, work, eat, work, eat, work out, sleep, repeat. After that, if you can sleep half of the time, it will go twice as fast. Don't wait to ask for personal time - fix yourself now so that you can work, eat, sleep. They have a pharmacy - ASK.


Anonymous said...

As I have heard the trick is to work nights if you can and sleep during the day. That way you miss some of the dust and heat. Get off work at dawn, sleep until you wake up (probably 2-3 hours because of the noise of generators, people and such) take an Ambien and sleep 6-8 more. When you get home you will feel as if you have been granted parole! Keep your head down!


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