Chill

Cancerous Whores, The Year, Today

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No one was really looking for me. Only her. She needed some more accessories purchased before my departure and it was well too late for that.

I had felt very comfortable in Dubai and was dreading going to Kabul. In my mind, I was plotting reasons to permanently be stationed here. Weighing the tolerable against the repulsive. In short, I was afraid but I couldn’t tell anyone.

It was an I am back moment that could have been whispered into  the wind, as I was not prepared to enjoy it.

 

 

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Training Days

Today

Training Days

If you could only see the botched copies of Department Of Defense material passed out to us, in a broken binder – I assumed sarcastically as training material, you would cry to death.

Lamest experience ever.

Thank God I had received real training, by appointed professionals (i.e. Military personnel) on certain terrain expectations before landing in Afghanistan the first time or else I would have shat myself for months.

Daftar Terminal you are:

Irresponsible!

Constipated Wall

Today

“Madame, Madame,” he said with his Kiwi accent. “Please next time walk on this side of the wall.”

“What?” I am very confused as the Georgian soldiers pointed to step out of the car and wait over by this side of the wall. Usually, whenever we enter ISAF HQ (International Security Assistance Force Head Quarters military camp) off the dusty streets of Kabul our vehicle are checked at the entrance by Georgian soldiers.

Their military organization is constantly mocked by the international community as they barely speak English. They usually go to the stores in packs of twenty to purchase anything from cigarettes to an iPhone at the B&S stores or American PX, with an ambassador who speaks 45 words or less but can make his way through a purchase. Seriously, who are they going to call if the gate gets attacked? My guess is on no one knows. They also like to ask where they can find more women. I think they are looking for the whore houses, but most men here are.

This morning the gate opened with several guys pointing to Bin and Min (I know) to step out of the car. Two Nepalese drivers are certainly not Talibans, but because they are not part of NATO and the Georgian probably can’t tell the difference with TCNs, they have to go through a rigorous search, eye scans and finger prints included thank you very much. I’m late, I don’t want to walk in the mud with my Jeffrey Campbell’s knee high boots, yes even in a war zone I bring fashion and I’m fierce. You’d be surprised to see the selection of Gucci, Fendi’s, Louis Vuiton and vintage pieces the ladies have here. I have no time for this shit, but I’m not the one holding the riffle in my face, am I.

Rear view mirrors attached to long sticks check under our white Hiace for traces of bombs, this couldn’t be more contrary. Modern weapons, rudimentary ways to detect suspicious devices. As I am the glorious owner of a laminated Contractor badge with a security clearance highlighted by a red square around my face, I’m supposed to be subjected to a very quick search. Unfortunately, every time there is a new rotation, things seem to change into greater confusion; new soldiers arrive with new ideas, everyone thinks the last in post had terrible security procedures, makes new rules to assert their authority, changes the badge color scheme and priority, impose innovative ways to render entry nearly impossible, this chaos affects business transactions, millions of dollars are lost, I’ve even seen critical patient in ambulances turned away. A mess! Yesterday, I entered with ease, today my drivers and I are treated like Talibans. Now, you comprendo a little why I am seething and couldn’t care less about what he thought I should or shouldn’t do so I gave him my best left shoulder humph and walked away from him.

He catches up with me and blocks my way. “When you leave your vehicle,” he repeated in a slow manner identifying me as a mentally challenged person “you walk on that side of the wall.”  “This is the bad side.”

“Huh?”

“All the good vehicles go on that side and the suspicious ones loaded with bombs go on this side. If you want to die with me on this side of the wall, it’s fine with me Madame.”

Death Plans

Today

I flew to Mazar-i-Sharif today on a Beech 1900 with a set of new pilots.

I hate flying and I have trust issues with some of our pilots as I know most of their character flaws and some of them are scary.

Nervous, spaced out, drunks, pot lovers, dreamers, slow, nasty temper are all things I criticize because again I hate flying. No I am terrified of flying, but I love traveling.

I volunteered to go and help one of our staff member in Mazar and  before I knew it a was sitting in our smallest aircraft with two new pilots who never flew in Afghanistan.

Kabul is the second most dangerous airport in the world to take off and land from. Number one is La Paz, Bolivia meh something to do with the mountains.  I have friends who work in the tower and tell me these things:

1- Pray every time you take off and land.

2-The military -especially Bagram Air Base (a 15 mins flight from Kabul, sometimes with the winds it’s 6 minutes) don’t give a shit about civilian aircrafts, they will do whatever the fuck they want, because they are the only ones supposed to be here. They will go tactical in minutes (meaning they will shut radio communications with the tower) even though we are in high altitude and surrounded by vicious mountains, which are the beginning of the Himalayas. Whenever I fly I ask my friends to please make sure our aircraft is guided over these damn mountains. The military never listen to the tower and will fly as close as  300 feet to other aircrafts although they know that at least 600 feet is illegal and will result into a tower controller loosing their ratings (license). Military also have UAV’s (big white balloon aircrafts that takes aerial pictures of the region and if a truck or convoy steps on a IED NATO sees it immediately).

Watch out for that mountain…    

Anyways, I can’t really tell you any Military secrets…

3- During summer months we enter one hundred and twenty one days of strong fucking winds. The wind picks up around 15h00 in Kabul, which makes the temperature cool at night, but it’s a bitch to fly in and as a result most flights get diverted to other destinations.

4- Arianna (we call it Scaryanna do you really want to fly in duck taped seats and God knows what), Kamair, Safi (they are good), Turkish Airlines and all the other Russian airlines do not speak English so they barely understand when the tower directs them for landings and take offs.

All in all this place is chaos filled with incompetence, yet the sky is less dangerous then facing Taliban attacks on land.

Anyways, I went to Mazar and the flight was not so bad until I landed there. Landing was rough, we where swinging left and right and hit the runway at the right time, but the worst was yet to happen.

Landing in Mazar…

The pilots where doing some odd training (during a passenger flight!!!) and covered their windows with sun shades. What the fuck? Aren’t they supposed to see where they are and not only let the machine guide them?

WTF are they doing? And they covered more windows…

Newbies.

I visited Camp Marmal. It’s sizzling hot, dusty and absolutely German with a hint of American. I’ve never experience that type of heat. You cannot survive without water and that day they cut water supplies, as it’s in the middle of a desert and residents where abusing their 5 minute showers. Imagine going to the bathroom in 40 plus dry heat without having the privilege to flush.

I can’t understand individuals who walk in this radiative zone without a hat, I was ready to pass out.

I stayed only for the day and climbed on the next flight to Kabul. I thought I was going to die. I’ve never liked turbulence, but 30 minutes off heavy droppings, swiveling left and right is frightening. We where three passengers, I was sitting in the back as the two others where sleeping. When we hit heavy turbulence and we started dropping drastically they all jumped from their somber and screamed.

I have never seen an airplane nose dive so quickly. I thought I was going to be on the news. The mountains where straight ahead waiting to welcome our ashes. Now, that I made it I regret not grabbing my camera to film our almost fatal descent. We were diving to our deaths an somehow the crew swerved around the mountain and found their way to the airfield without crashing as the wind tried to obstruct our landing.

I’ve never been so sure of the end as yesterday’s afternoon flight.  I gathered my personal effects with trembling hands.

Later I asked the captain and co-pilot if they heard us scream and they said no, they where too busy trying not to die. Well, that’s all I needed to hear. Apparently, they face this situation every afternoon while trying to land in Kabul.

I had to walk around my campus with a huge scare stain in the front of my crotch. No one said anything of course and I only noticed it in my room. Clay feet where already in my bath tub. Fuck my life! No, nothing I’m still alive. I was supposed to start in 4 days.

Never again!!

Idiots Part 2

Today

Well I have to apologize, for my former statement it was not a looser red neck who burned the Quran, but some service men. The actual reason was not in spite the Islamic religion or a hate crime, but for sheer protection.

This dramatic event originates from one of the detainee compound in Bagram, where national prisoners where passing  information through the Quran. The books where taken as they were becoming a security issue and orders where given to destroy them.

However, they were not burnt in back of a secure office where none of the locals would find the ashes (duh), but in the main burning pit where everyone has access. Of course, when some afghans found out they alerted the world without having all the facts. And really why should they?

It makes sense when the info is actually treatening and lives are at stakes.

Unfortunately, because some showed their negligence, because it was discovered  a mob was created to retaliate. But there are other reasons for the Afghans outrage.  Apparently, some civilians home are being destroyed for no reason….I don’t know the full details but I will find out.

Big fuck up if you ask me.

2 for me 0 for the idiot

See the scars left on this armored vehicle for those stuck in the middle of the protest and lucky enough to come out of it alive.

Apparently, the belligerents had bricks and where throwing massive pieces of rocks.