A young man's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk...and apparently, back again.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

The details of my life are quite inconsequential, really. Summers in Rangoon...luge lessons...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Heat. Sandstorms. Kuwait.

 Before I describe a slice of life as it currently stands here in the transient way station in the Gulf, some scenes from the drive from Kuwait Int'l Airport to tent city in the desert...

 Futbol, anyone?  

 Kuwaiti dress...modern and traditional mashed together, seemingly always.  Along the highway was an almost-endless stretch of very new construction, featuring numerous examples of what I can only assume is the Kuwait version of the McMansion.

Weather can be such a mind-bender.  My home these days in Colorado -- where I've lived for one Winter anyway -- received another few inches of snow last week, as I left coastal NC for this deployment.  And though it was definitely warming to beach temperature "down east", with Summery, muggy days in the 80's, it's a whole 'nother ballgame in a place like Kuwait.  It's an oven here.  Sure, it's not quite the blast furnace level to which this camp's weather escalates by July, but it's still an awful lot like an oven at least.  It's clearing 100 degrees easily already, and that Gulf humidity just hangs in the air day and night.

Shout out to Singapore!  (Middle flag above, people.)  My childhood home and current home of my cousin must be lending an assist around here, as I see its flag represented around camp.

Apparently it's sandstorm season, and the difficulty of landing in them has delayed or canceled a bit of air traffic around these parts lately.  A minor sand squall yesterday renewed my appreciation for all those doing long stretches of duty here, or even more so, Iraq.  I think of bedouins or other desert inhabitants every time I'm crossing a camp like this, squinting and trying to remember to keep my mouth shut (no easy task for a loquacious Irishman, mind you) while sand pelts everything.  It gives this camp, comprised almost entirely of tents of various sizes and floodlights, an even more pronounced industrial-yellow hue than it already displayed.

Then there is the most globally ubiquitous presence of all...the beacon (literally) that illuminates above an otherwise unremarkable skyscape of fluorescent light, bugs and sandblown dank air...

Now don't confuse me with those patronizing it...I'm getting along with the chow hall alright.  The return route might be a different story, so no guarantees there.  Instead I sink a daily allowance into coffee and wi-fi access here at the Green Bean.  The camp may be a sand pit, but this is not bad at all...

Here is a quick game of contrast.  First, still air.  Next, blowing wind.  See if you can spot a difference.

The objective when you're catching the bus to your flight and then getting on the bird is to not let your gear join this collection...

Signing off...nighty night from Kuwait tent city.


Anonymous Weezie said...

You've got to go try a quarter pounder with cheese Kuwait style! :)

May 16, 2010 at 6:19 AM  
Blogger Major Dan said...

I might have to. The plane that was supposed to be mine is delayed, so we're just standing by...and standing by...and not allowed to go beyond the terminal area. Fun.

May 16, 2010 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger John Cocktoasten said...

Just to give you an update if you hadn't heard--
-Avalanche out in the first round
-Nuggets out in the first round
-Rockies, 19-19
-Randy's still a bit of a tool

You're not missing much on this side of the world(aside from beer). My guess is that in six months you'll have much better stories to tell than those of us in CO.


-Wood(I probably won't sign in the future, but you should know who John Cocktoasten is)

May 18, 2010 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Major Dan said...

Thanks Cocktoasten...I assume you'll have a bloody mary, a steak sandwich & a steak sandwich for lunch at the club?

May 19, 2010 at 5:54 AM  
Blogger Hope said...

Hey, this is Hope, a reporter for the Daily News of Jacksonville. I was sent a link to your blog and wondered if you'd be interested in doing a phoner or e-mail interview with the paper. I have some other ideas too for expanding your readership...shoot me an e-mail at if interested. Thanks!

May 19, 2010 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger John Cocktoasten said...

Sadly, no. Downside to dating a vegetarian. I'll be hanging out with Mitch Cumstein in the lumber yard. Let me know if there's anything you need from this side of the pond that you can't get at the BX in Afghanistan.

Oh, and if you any say in the matter, get back by the end of September--Great American Beer Festival (Beer-Fest). Honest to God, it's the best event this town has to offer!

May 19, 2010 at 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Weezie said...

Dan Dong -- THAT is awesome! It's like you morphed with the Donger from 16 Candles. "Where is Grandpa's automobile? Automobiiiiiiile??"

May 25, 2010 at 9:12 AM  

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