Being here is very strange. There's just such a bizarre, jarring disconnect between various aspects of life on this base. A few samples:
- A few nights ago, our chow hall featured a Mongolian BBQ service. And they serve steak and crab legs on Rocket Attack Wednesdays (also known as "Wednesdays").
- Last week I mopped a floor with bottled water.
- I've met several soldiers who spend most of their free time fishing in the lone pond on base. No word yet if there's actually any fish in it.
- After nearly two weeks here, I still regularly get turned around in the elephant-maze of 12-foot tall blast walls that surround and divide every building on base.
- Despite being in Iraq, I've only met a handful of Iraqis. Most of the service workers on base are South Asians and Filipinos.
- In the middle of the desert, in a devastated, war-torn country, I have reliable electricity, running water, and Internet service.
All in all, it's a strange sort of existence here. I'm sure it'll only get stranger once summer sets in and we start seeing temperatures in the 130's and higher. And apparently summertime is the high season for rocket attacks as well, so that'll be interesting. I guess that's the most surreal thing of all, that there are people out there doing what they can to kill me and mine. To be honest, that really hasn't set in yet, that there are people behind the rockets. It still mostly just feels like a particularly dangerous sort of weather phenomenon.