Friday, February 16, 2007

On My Way To Qatar

I'm goin' on pass, I'm goin' on pass!!

In order to get to Qatar you obviously have to fly. That necessitates going through Bagram Air Field (BAF). I am so glad that I don’t live here. This place is huge. And it’s not necessarily for that reason that I’m glad I don’t live here. It’s the latrines, the showers, the lines.

If I lived here I’d have to shower in a connex converted into a latrine and a shower. I can’t believe how incredibly lucky I am to live where I do. Modern, spacious, clean showers and toilets do a lot for morale.

Anyway, I didn’t want to make this entry negative so let me get on with my narrative.
Those of us going on pass or leave report to a tent that has bunkbeds everywhere. All of the bottom ones are taken of course so that leaves only the ones of top. The tent also has a big screen TV and another TV to play video games on. It’s also the tent where you get your briefing on the particulars of leaving the country. My brief is tomorrow at 1400 hours.

I came a day early just because a convoy was coming up today. I was going to try to come tomorrow but it ended up being today. That’s OK. Now I have an extra day to relax and get ready for pass.

Being an O5 I was able to get alternate billeting. It’s about a 20 minute walk away from where everyone else is located. Someone erroneously told me that I’d get a private room in a connex. Turns out it’s a two story connex (I’m on the second floor) but one with seven sets of bunkbeds. So far I’m the only one in here so I guess I do get a private room. When I checked in I was told that there would be seven other guys showing up but it’s 2000 hours and no one has arrived. With my luck, they’ll show up in the middle of the night. At least it’s only for two nights.
Spent 90 minutes on the elliptical and burned about 1400 calories. I then went and had a calzone but didn’t eat the whole thing, and ate several chocolate chip cookies with a cup of hot chocolate. I think I about broke even on the calories.

Tomorrow all I have to do is get to my 1400 briefing. Other than that, the day is mine.
Thus ends my first day on my way to pass. Wasn’t this the most exciting entry you’ve ever read?

OK, then let me tell you a little about BAF. It’s the airfield where all the air assets stage out of. It’s where we fly in and out of the country. There is one main road that runs the length of the base. It’s called Disney Way. No, it’s not named for Walt but for a soldier with the last name of Disney who was killed here in county. I’ll find out a little more tomorrow and tell you the story. The problem with one main road is it gets very congested. One of the reasons I’m glad I don’t live here.

It’s got a large PX with lots of local craftsman shops outside. It’s also got a full service salon where you can get your hair cut, colored, permed, etc, get your nails done and get a massage. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow as well, get a massage that is.

With so many people on this base, there are multiple PX’s actually and multiple chow halls. I’ve never had to wait in line but judging by the lines that snake out of the nearest chow hall it’s going to be a fact of life.

To get to the nearest latrine, I walk the length of my building, down the stairs, across the street to the connex. The toilets are on the bottom level and the showers on the top. If I can get a camera in without looking like a pervert I’ll try to get some pictures.

Anyway, that’s it in a nutshell about BAF. Aren’t you even more thrilled that I continued to write and you continued to read. OK, I’m bored too. I’ll write tomorrow about the briefing and about how great my massage is going to be.
Until then…

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