Friday, August 14, 2009

Get Your Move On

This has been a busy week. The big news: I'm no longer in the International Zone. My command has been moving for the past couple of weeks from our old home at Essayons Compound (across the street from Ibn Sina Hospital, for those of you who've been there) to our new location at Area 51 at Victory Base Compound (VBC), which is at the airport. I did the transition on Tuesday.

What this meant for me was that my computer at work was taken offline on Sunday and packed away on Monday. No computer, not a whole helluva lot to do. Break my heart, right? To pack up my desk at work took, oh, 15 minutes, since I was dawdling.

My hooch was another matter. Our internet capability died on Sunday and didn't come up until after I left. I got all my stuff packed up (where did all this crap come from, anyway??) and on Monday we loaded everything into our uni-packs. These are modular boxes, roughly four feet high/wide/long, into which we put all our worldly possessions. I got mine all loaded up and sealed, then went back to my room and lo and behold, realized that I forgot to pack away my sheets, pillows, and blanket. Robert had plenty of space, though, so that's where they went.

I just mentioned the amazing amount of crap that I found I had. Some of the people have been here for four or five years and really had a lot of stuff. One woman needed FIVE UNIPACKS. Yes. I kid you not. I don't know that you could fit five unipacks into a hooch at all, but she filled all of 'em up. She needed one whole unipack just for her shoes. (Remember: that's 4'x4'x4' of just shoes).

Anyway, our stuff got loaded into the conex box and put on a truck. We were loaded into our vehicles and off we went. And when we got here, we found out that the conex with all our stuff wasn't going to make it. Then it didn't make it the next day. Finally, yesterday, it arrived. Turned out that the Iraqi army, who's now guarding the IZ, had been stopping the trucks for all kinds of different reasons: tags, licenses, they wanted to inspect the containers, that sort of thing. Basically, they were flexing their muscles. So our Command Sergeant Major got on the line with some of his other Command Sergeant Major buddies around town and now our convoys of conex boxes have gun truck escorts. The Iraqi army doesn't mess with convoys that have gun truck escorts. It's really hard to shake down a bribe from somebody who has a 50-caliber machine gun.

So now I'm living in a barracks. It's a nice place. My room is quite a bit bigger than my old hooch (not that that's saying much). It's in a real building ... but since it's Iraqi-built, everything is a bit off. I don't care. I'm finally getting all my stuff put away and feeling that my nest is my new (temporary) home.

At work, well, the adventure continues. I'm now on a different network and somewhere in the transition between the old and new ones, all my email files disappeared. Word to the wise: when an IT guy tells you "Hey, no problem, it'll be transparent", never ever believe them! I learned that years ago and it still holds true. They believe they can recover all my emails. They also believe in Santa Claus.

So if you've been wondering where I've been, that's the story. I'm still here and will continue to post. And maybe, just maybe, I can find my old email files at work this afternoon ...

1 comment:

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 08/17/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.