Raise Up! 5-0!
I’m here in the big bad city of Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. A location so dangerous there is one cop for every five persons on ground. It’s that rough, what with all the murders, sexual assaults, and armed robberies going on.
Actually, no, I’m kidding. Nothing happens here except the usual Soldier stuff like fights over the PS4 at the USO, a random beat-down after the Tuesday night bingo game, and maybe someone getting bashed in the head with a frozen water bottle and dragged off to a bunker unknown.
You would think with all the cops here that this is some place out of control, like Ferguson or some shit. At any given moment there is going to be a riot because of the poor conditions at the DFAC, or some looting at the PX when the iPhone 6 comes out. Seriously, there really is a cop on almost every single corner, watching, waiting for someone to break the law.
Laws, such as, when a pedestrian is within five feet of a crosswalk, drivers must come to a screeching halt in anticipation this pedestrian might want to cross the street. If the pedestrian does indeed want to cross the street, drivers must wait until the pedestrian is completely on the other side of the street and five feet away from the crosswalk. If you do not wait until they’ve cleared five feet, drivers will be shot on sight. If the pedestrian just happened to be within five feet of the crosswalk for no random reason, well, just bring traffic to a halt anyway. It’s okay. No one has anywhere to be. The rumour is that a General Officer got ran over because he thought he had bumpers on his ass and just walked out in the middle of a street in front of a convoy of 5-tons.
The speed limit on base is 40KPH, unless otherwise posted. Anyone caught driving 41KPH will be beaten to death. During PT hours it’s 20KPH. I’m not usually out driving during those hours but this past Sunday I was headed to the office, and the traffic was literally not moving. I’m thinking, “What the fuck is the hold up?” Oh, it’s Sunday 0645, so that means 20KPH. There wasn’t a single Soldier on the road conducting PT. You know what else is insane? No one actually runs in the fucking street. Why not make it like other bases where it’s a low speed limit when passing troops in formation, or conducting PT, or some such. If you see some lone guy running on the sidewalk, why the fuck am I at a crawl? So I can watch him run faster than my vehicle? Who made these asinine rules? The rumour is that it’s that same GO who got hit by the 5-tons. A week before that accident he plowed through some Soldiers on a division run at 100MPH. They suspect he was drunk off O’Douls but they don’t do DUI checks here so no one will ever know the true story.
And don’t get caught driving without your license. Just ask 47 what happened to her. She still has nightmares about it, poor girl. The bottom line is… don’t get caught without your Kuwaiti license. Ever. You know the one you get at that joke of a driving class, where the instructor didn’t actually teach you anything additional to what you learned from the driving class you had when you were 16—except to say, “Good luck,” if you ever need to navigate a local national traffic circle. It’s insane how these contracting companies are ripping off the U.S. Government. You have to line up at 0300 for a class that may or may not be taught later that day. Despite the fact that everyone on post knows when a huge unit is coming in, the driver’s license people seemingly have no fucking clue and don’t think they should lay on more classes so all incoming Soldiers can get their licenses in a timely fashion. Not because they need to cruise around Kuwait City, but because they can’t even drive on post without the license.
The class is pretty much some guy handing you a book and a test. He didn’t teach anything at all because “he was busy.” My class sat down together, flipped through the book and did the test in about 10 minutes. It actually took longer to fill out the paperwork. Another Soldier claimed the guy just told him to write his name down on the form and he would complete the test for him. I don’t know how true that is but I’m inclined to believe it based on what I witnessed with my own eyes when I went to get my license. I think the point of the examination is to ensure a Soldier knows Kuwaiti driving laws and what to do in case of an accident out in town. You know how the government could save money? Fire the contractors who run this debacle and put that shit online like they do everything else. Bam. Now we can afford to keep cereal stocked in the DFAC.
The police even set up a check point. Not for DUIs, mind you, like they do back home, because you can’t get drunk off O’Douls (I already tried). They want to make sure you have your license. It’s that serious. Next time I come here I’m just going to photocopy the license I have now, since it’s totally easy to fake these things. There’s no photo and my license says I’m a 129 pound Asian male.
But you know, since there is all this worry about SHARP, you would think the cops are actually here to create a safe environment for people to go about their business unmolested. I hardly ever see any cops posted up any place Soldiers congegrate. You ever see an MP at the USO or MWR, just checking to make sure everything is above board. Do you see them walking around at night by the PCBs, just checking on things? Nope. But they’re definitely in the cut, waiting for someone to roll through a stop sign. So yeah, forget SHARP. Ain’t nobody got time for that. People need to know they can’t get out of control on base. You go one kilometer over the speed limit, or you drive off when the Soldier is only four feet away from the crosswalk, then you better be ready to pay the consequences. That’s death by firing squad.