Life in Balad

Since I didn’t do much today to really talk about (unless hearing about laundry and me playing counterstrike for hours is interesting, I’ll talk about life here. Generally it’s not so bad. If you ignore the mortars we usually get (still haven’t been hit today, maybe they’re on vacation) and all the sand (that at some locations quite closely resembles baby powder and is very annoying when it gets kicked up) then you can almost enjoy it here. At night it gets so dark that you can’t see a thing. The stars are more beautiful than I have ever seen them! With the planes, helicopters, vehicles, generators and air conditioners running at all times, there is never any quiet place. The only escape from that is a good pair of headphones and a nice song. (It’s an escape that many take.)

The tents are all how you make them. Right now ours suck because they’re just temporary. We have cots and there is no liner on the tent so it gets pretty hot during the day. The AC units we have kinda suck, but they’re better than nothing so I shouldn’t complain. Our location isn’t all that bad either, since we’re right next to the chow hall, and there is a shuttle that drives everywhere else. (Taking it to the Air Force side takes a while though, but other than Counterstrike and the washer/dryers, there isn’t anything over there to go to.) The PX/BX is a 10 min walk/5min shuttle ride, with the movie theatre/gym/pool just around the corner from there. I haven’t been to the pool yet, but I will once I buy a suit! As for the gym, I’ll go there too… generally I just run.

The base itself used to belong to Sadam and was taken over for our use, so I’ve been told. It’s a primary hub of Iraq for supplies and movement. If you want to know more about it, you can click here and it’ll tell you more than you really care about it. 🙂

Water is easy to come by, and you can get bottled water all over the place. Cold water, on the other hand, is rare. I’m quite used to warm water now. I still can’t stand hot water though. (I wear a camelback everywhere I go, and the water in the tube can get hot! I normally just squeeze the opening to get the water out before drinking… Still doesn’t get rid of the really warm water in the tank. Sadly.

And, as for the mortar comment above, we were just hit. It hit close enough that we all felt the shock wave and ran out. (In case you saw my “oh fsck” message as I clicked post and ran out the door. That’s scary stuff right there. But it’s ok, I’m immortal, remember? (Still have yet to be proved wrong, and it won’t happen here. 🙂

Anyways, I’m going to go listen to music and get some sleep. Take care all.
Always enduring,
StriderA

[Edit: I can’t say the f word or my comp blocks it, damn we-blocker software]

About Matthew Jones

Writer, Programmer, Astronomer, Dreamer, Wisher, Fighter. Always striving to be better than I was.
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