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May. 10th, 2030

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Aug. 13th, 2009

iKill

Done

I know I haven't posted for a couple of months.  Maybe I'll start posting again soon, but I wouldn't bet money on it.  I'll make this a short one, because this crappy computer's space bar hurts my thumb.

Yesterday marked my final day in Iraq.  I'm done.   I haven't slept in over a day, as the whole leaving process was an all night event.

I'm currently stuck at the US forces Swine Flu quarantine camp in Kuwait.  I don't have Swine Flu (yet).  I'm just here until I can fly out.  By this time tomorrow, I'll probably be in Ireland or Germany, and then off to Fort Carson, Colorado for eight days. 

I can't believe that it's been an entire year since I've stepped foot into the United States.  I took my midtour leave in Europe.  I took about 300+ pictures, and I'll try to post those when I have an internet connection that is not on par with my dial up modem from a decade ago.  Silly Middle East. I did have an excellent time, and I do need to post something about the highlights while it's still semi-fresh in my memory.

I have a lot to write about, a lot to reflect on.  I'm going to go through this journal from entry one on to the newest and try to see how much I've changed in this past year.  I know I've undergone quite a few emotional spells since I've left, and it's time to figure out how much this emotional juggernaut of a year has affected me.  Towards the end of it, after so many months of being so incredibly depressed and in my own little emo world,  I eventually stopped giving a fuck.  I just stopped caring about everything and blocked everything out.  I became an emotional robot, and from there, it was all more or less smooth sailing.   Along with my detachment came a lack of caring about my journal.   I just didn't have the energy anymore. 

It'll be good to be gone from this desert.  Last night, as we stood ready to board the bus to take us to Baghdad International Airport, we heard the sounds of an explosion, and the firing of machine guns in the distance.   I jokingly remarked, "Not our problem anymore".   Everyone laughed.   That kind of sums it all up. 

Peace.

Jun. 24th, 2009

death card

Leave is over...

Well my 15 day leave is officially over.   I'm currently sitting in an internet cafe in Kuwait waiting for a flight back to Baghdad.  I don't know if it'll be tonight, the day after that, or even later.  

I think I may have lost a couple of LJ friends these past couple weeks.  I really wasn't on LJ much at all.  I'll try to post pics really soon.  I'll have to break it down by destination, because there's just too many pics.  

It's just a weird feeling right now.  Yesterday at this time, I was at a Paris airport in my civilian clothes, and a day later I'm sitting in my army uniform in Kuwait... waiting for a flight so I can finish off this miserable deployment.  

From Iraq to Kuwait to Bahrain to Paris to Normandy to London to Amsterdam to Brussels (Belgium) to Luxembourg to Trier (Germany), to Paris to Bahrain to Kuwait... and soon back to Iraq.  I feel like I've learned a lot about myself these past few weeks.  I accomplished a lot and figured out a lot of things on my own which once greatly intimidated me.   I'm really not looking forward to coming back now, but in positive news...  I'm only two months away from getting back home.  A drop in the bucket.

Jun. 15th, 2009

death card

(no subject)

I've been having a good ole time in London thus far.  I went to the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace yesterday.  I'm about to go to the British Museum and Imperial War Museum right now. 

Also going to a pub with my friend tonight for some sort of pub quiz.  I'll have to add it on to the list of pubs that I've been to here: Captain Kidd, Dicken's Inn, Walkabout, and the Nag's Head.  Good times.

Jun. 13th, 2009

death card

(no subject)

Well I got into London last night. I spent the day seeing the sights in London on one of those very touristy double decker buses.  I'm about to go to a pub.

I spent the first day of leave fucking around in a 5 block radius from my hotel right next to the Bastille in Paris.  The next day, I went to the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame.  

Then I went to Bayeux, the epicenter of all of the WWII sites in Northern France.  I spent the next few days exploring all of the important ones. 

Then I went to London.  I just booked a flight out on Tuesday to Amsterdam. 

I'll try to post pics soon.

Jun. 8th, 2009

death card

Paris

Got into Paris about 7:30am on Sunday morning without a plan.  I really didn't have a clue of what I was going to do, where I was going to stay, or how to do fucking anything.   I just wanted to be in Paris, and that apparently was good enough for me.   I managed to get out of the airport relatively easily, and I figured I would go to the next big train station, Gare du Nord, to figure out what my next course of action would be.   There were no internet cafes nearby, there were a less English speakers than I was expecting, and I was pretty much just paralyzed, because I had no idea what to do.  After bumming around awhile with my huge chafing backpack, I managed to get to another train station, and I just sat for a while and read my tourism book. 

It looked like hotels were decently priced near the Bastille area and I took a train over there, got a hotel room, and then just walked all over the neighborhood for several hours.  The hotel costs more than I wanted to spend, but I've decided to fuck my whole "I'm going to stay at hostels".  Fuck that noise.

There is countless street after street lined with high end boutiques and restaurants where I'm staying.  I walked a lot farther that first day than I was intending despite the fact that it was cold and raining.  I did not have a jacket nor did I have an umbrella.  I didn't need that shit in Iraq.  I kept spotting beautiful buildings way off in the distance, and I would walk up to them and admire then, but then of course there'd be another new building within eyesight, and it went on and on like that.   I bought a military chic jacket on the way back, because it was really cold, and I don't have any cold weather gear.  It was decently priced at 35 euros, but it unfortunately had German flag patches on the shoulder.  I was really self-conscious about it on the long walk home.  Here I am in Paris, with my German military jacket and my shaved head.   I'm sure it's not even a big deal, but I still felt awkward. 

I found a Chinese restaurant a block away from my hotel, so I dropped in before I got back to get some take-out.   For some reason, a hasidic Jew runs the place, and he took my order.  That's when my self-consciousness went through the roof.  I thought, "Great.  I'm going to piss off this Jewish guy, because he thinks I'm a Nazi." As it turns out, the Chinese food was about the wost that I've ever had.  They didn't do anything malicious to it.  It was just terrible.   But I guess that's to be expected from a Parisian Chinese restaurant run by a hasidic Jew with a kitchen full of Pakastanis. 

That was yesterday.

Jun. 7th, 2009

death card

(no subject)

Well I'm finally in Paris. The whole getting here thing was a pain in the ass.  First we flew out of Iraq from a military base.  We then landed at an American military base in Kuwait.  After a day of doing stupid paperwork and almost absolutely nothing, we got shuttled over to Kuwaiti International airport (which is easily the nicest airport that I have ever been in).  We were there for about 5 hours.  We then flew from Kuwaiti International south for an hour and landed at Bahrain International.  For some reason, I couldn't fly direct from Kuwait to Paris.  There for about 3 hours.  And from Bahrain, I finally got to Paris 6.5 hours later.  

After a day of trying to figure out the damn underground train system, I'm finally chilling in my nice hotel room next to the Bastille.  I'm settled in, and will hopefully have some French adventures to talk about next time I get on.  Though I will say a few things.   The French are much better looking than we are.  They seem to be happier than we are, and they are much less fat than we Americans are.   Every French girl is turning my head, though since being in Iraq for over half a year, this is to be expected.  

I love the fact that my wallet is now filled with US dollars, Kuwaiti Dinar, and Euros.  I can't believe the shit that I've seen these past 48 hours.

 

Jun. 6th, 2009

death card

(no subject)


I flew out of Iraq last night.  I had my leave pushed back a day, because I initially couldn't get a flight out.  It almost got pushed back again last night because of a dust storm, but it eventually cleared up.

I did all of my leave logistics/paperwork stuff for the most part.  It was 10am here in Kuwait when it was all finished.  I got told to show up at 4pm in my civilian clothes for the next phase.   This place is even dustier and hotter than Iraq.  Kuwait fucking blows.

I'll be flying into Paris tonight.

May. 12th, 2009

(no subject)

I wish it was easier to predict what people actually give a shit about anymore.   I'm quite annoyed.

May. 11th, 2009

death card

Apparently this is big news world wide.

www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/11/iraq-friendly-fire-incide_n_201512.html The stupidity of the people commenting on this news site is appalling to me. 

So earlier today, someone walked into a Combat Stress Clinic down the street from where I work and gunned down five people with his M16.  It's amazing to me that of all the places that a soldier could die here, that it'd be in a place where they're seeking psychological help to help deal with the stresses of being in a combat zone.  People doing the right thing, getting the help they need, and then getting murdered by a comrade who chose to take his anger out on the people that he could empathize with the most. 

 

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