Son, You’ll See the World
…or so that’s what they plug when you go to an Army recruiter’s office. I’m definitely seeing the world, all right…. one airport at a time. We have at long last begun our international adventure. They’ve released us from our minimum security prison in Texas and unleashed us to the four winds. It took about three hours to get to Maine, a state I’ve always wanted to visit. Unfortunately, even with the extended layover, we were not allowed to leave the airport. I did, however, have one of the best veggie burgers I’ve ever eaten in my life. It was so good, even with the cheese on it. I got my picture taken by the USO guys. I keep forgetting to logon to see how horrific I look with mushed up airplane hair.
Then we did something I’ve been wanting to do all my life: we crossed the Pond. We flew over the Atlantic into Ireland, another place I’ve always wanted to visit. I was a huge Cranberries fan as a girl and I’m in love with their accents and the beautiful greenery of the Emerald Isle. How disappointing for me that we should land at night and I’m not even afforded the slightest view of what the country had to offer.
The flight itself was positively ghastly. They did us so dirty with that “fill’er up from the back.” Apparently I had a seat right on the exhaust pipe. I didn’t think that airplanes had internal exhaust pipe but I managed to find it. My nose is incredibly sensitive. I can smell anything from any distance. Whatever noxious fumes were emanating from the plane had me turning green. Every time someone passed me they kept asking me if I was all right. I think the flight attendants were nervous I was going to vomit. Finally, I begged to be moved and they put me up further in the cabin where I discovered that every man had two seats to himself. Yeah, sorry for the bastards in the back packed like sardines.
I slept most of the flight to Ireland, but when we arrived the flight commander said, “Hey guys, you’re authorised two beers maximum.” Ever since Day 1, General Order No. 1 has been in effect: NO ALCOHOL. I spent most of my life dry so I’m not fazed by this, but I had recently come to enjoy a glass of wine or three. I’m not frothing at the mouth like some of my battles are though. When the guy said we could have a beer I thought it was an excellent opportunity for me to try one out. I’ve never had a beer before so I thought it would be interesting. Unfortunately, before we could be set loose upon the airport for the layover, a very mean sergeant-major returning from Afghanistan put the kibosh on that real quick. No beer. Oh well, there’s always the ride home. Hopefully we’ll stop in Germany where I hear the beer is particularly good.
There wasn’t much else to do but explore the duty free shop where I bought the most delectable chocolates I’ve ever eaten in my life: Butler’s – Purveyors of Happiness. Oh my goodness, I’m salivating just thinking about it I’m going to see if I can order online.
The next leg of the flight was overkill. I’d been sitting for hours. My butt had lost all feeling. I made the mistake of watching Paranormal Activity 3 on the plane. It wasn’t as good as the first two, but it was still pretty fucked up and scary. I was hiding under my blanket most of the time. The guy next to me, a soldier from my hometown asked me what I was watching because it looked like I was looking at something pretty frightening. Then I fell asleep and had nightmares that the evil little girl was standing over me. It wasn’t the little girl but the flight attendant.
At long last, like 50 hours later ( maybe not that much) we landed in Kuwait. The heat is behind us so it was rather pleasant outside. They let us hang out for a little while before we got on a bus to be transported to the base. By then I was just assed out tired. There wasn’t much to look at. The whole terrain is a sandy dessert. I didn’t see any trees or anything that could indicate life, except a few lights out in the distance as we approached the base.
In true military fashion, despite having flown halfway ‘cross the universe, they made us attend a briefing so that we know how to behave in a warzone. Really, some of that stuff could have waited but I guess it had to happen at some point. Then we trucked ourselves over to our living accommodations.
So this is where Sam really fails as a boss. He is always going on and on about how he takes care of soldiers but I think that he has forgotten the most basic thing: people really care about how they’re gonna live and how they’re gonna eat. If the living situation is horrible and the food situation is intolerable, you’re gonna have problems. Yeah, I get that this place has become a refugee camp but you really can’t have American citizens who are used to Xbox and Starbucks living in such squalor. I mean, really. We are in a tent with approximately 50-70 individuals and expected to remain in such a fashion for the better part of a year. Moreover, we don’t have real beds or any place to keep our stuff. Am I bitching about it? Yeah. Is anything going to change? Probably not. It just makes me feel one per cent better to whine about something.
I will say that Sam does know how to have a good time. He has provided every amenity possible to make me forget about the fact that I will come home to a cot and 49 other triflin’ hoes every night. There’s karaoke, salsa night, bingo night, a gigantic ass gym, SPINNING CLASSES, a place for me to run, even 5Ks and enough ice cream to sink my battleship, and guess where it’s from… BASKIN ROBBINS. Seriously, and it’s free. With lemon cake. And frosting.
Seriously, Sam can keep all that (except the ice cream) if he gave me a real bed and a room for me (even a roommate, ONE roommate, would not be so bad). Oh well. It is what it is.
I know everybody has been watching the news and heard President Obama and his speech. I don’t know what it means for me. As long as it doesn’t mess up the money that Sam has promised me, I am okay. I have plans for all those pennies. I guess if I have to sleep on a cot in a detention camp on the far side of the world in order to get those pennies, then a girl has to do what a girl has to do.