21 May 2009

Road trips

The Bossman was recently out of town (yet again), hanging out in a much nicer and more Kurdish area, doing...well, field grade stuff (naps and PowerPoint). Or something. Word was passed that he should return to Big Base on Tuesday, or perhaps Wednesday, and then he might begin to try to find a way down here.

Our manuever battalion is doing most of our job at this point, so we're a little underemployed. Given that, we decided the best way to ensure Bossman made it home (rather than hanging out with the wireless internet and good chowhall for days on end) was to go fetch him back.

We packed our assault packs, loaded the radios, stuck SGT B in the turret, SSG C in the driver's seat and Yours Truly in what I like to refer to as the "aircraft commander" seat. Trading an open seat in the back for a spot in an outbound convoy, we hit the road.

Is that exciting or what? However, I've reached a point where if a car ride in Iraq is boring beyond words, I recognize it for the good thing it is.

We made it to the Big Base, found the Bossman, bought a lot of meat, grabbed a lot of snacks (hooah for Higher, who managed to get us access to the fresh fruit and vegetable storgae point!), and trucked back.

The ride back was at night (hence the lack of pictures). Alas, it wasn't utterly uneventful. In good news, our people are pretty good at handling nasty surprises in the road these days. In less-good news, handling those does take a while. So there was waiting. A good, long, stretch of waiting.

I will not elaborate on the acrobatics required to pee during said wait, when one is wedged into an abnormally small front seat area and wearing a ridiculous amount of gear. Suffice it to say it required monkeylike feats of perching, balancing and hanging by the arms.

I love my job.

But all's well that ends well. We made it back to FOB McSleepy with our Boss and our snacks. Although we told people we'd be gone, nobody really seems to have noted our absence. And although we had a couple of virtual papers in our electronic inbox, we're certainly not swamped. The excitement just never ends over here, I tell ya...