I know, you can’t tell it from my upbeat, cheery writing, but sometimes even I can get a little grumpy, judgmental and disillusioned with KAF life. That’s when I have to sit back and take note of some of the recent awesome developments that have so improved my quality of life in this shithole.
It’s All Sorted Out Now
When I first arrived in KAF, during the mesozoic, they had signs up over each of the bins at the exit to the DFAC. Some places still have them up. They directed you to deposit plastic in the green bin, compostables in the red bin and cans/bottles in the blue bin. For the first 3 or 4 days here, I dutifully separated the waste. In very short order, however, I realized I was the only one doing so and holding up the exit line. Everyone just chucked everything into whatever bin was handy. Rumour had it that it was all being dumped into the garbage trucks together and burned at the incinerator anyway. So, like a good lemming, I stopped being that guy who blocked the exit. That night, as my eyes watered at the poo pond smell, I heard several dozen aircraft turning JP-8 into noise and exhaust as I watched the black plume of incinerator smoke floating over the barren wasteland beyond the fence. At that moment I realized that putting my pork chop bone in the red bin probably wasn’t going to turn Kandahar into an eco-tourism boom town anytime soon.
Well, KAF is getting a new incinerator and waste yard that is going to be built to European standards which, I understand, are slightly more environmentally strict than war-torn 3rd world backwater standards. As such, everything must now be sorted properly. When I heard this, I was pretty pissed. One of the few benefits of being here rather than home is that KAF didn’t have recycling Nazis like Nova Scotia does. We have five (yes FIVE) fucking types of garbage at home and if you put one wrong item in the goddamn clear bags we need to use, you get a bright red sticker put on it and it stays at the curb. It’s like they’re saying to your neighbours, “The people who live here hate the earth and are trying to poison your children. Shun them”. I fear and loathe garbage day at home. Thankfully, COMKAF realizes we’re all a bunch of lazy pricks and the DFAC workers sort our trays for us. We just put them on the new racks. Phew! No more tray dumping for me!
Improved Ablutions (Now Featuring 90% Less Fecal Matter!)
We finally have our wing of the accommodations building all to ourselves. The people from, uh, let’s say “more poo-tolerant” cultures have moved out. The toilets, while still somewhat unpleasant due to a dearth of traps on the drains, are no-longer gag inducing dens of foul feces festering in the squatter stalls with mazes of poo-water to tip toe through. We do get the occasional phantom shitters from other accommodation blocks who leave disgusting presents in our squatter stalls along with the seemingly mandatory river in the middle of the floor. I presume, they use our facilities because theirs is full of people with hygiene practices similar to their own.
I’ve also managed to find a bright side to the buckshee plumbing in our showers. Pretty much every stall has a leak where the pipe up the shower head connects to the taps. This results in a stream of water hitting your in the back or stomach. At first, I tried to imagine it was one of those fancy spa showers with multiple heads for a relaxing all over massage. Yeah, no. It was just fucking irritating. I did notice, however, that the leak provided a very handy early warning system.
The water in the showers varies randomly in temperature seemingly unrelated to any other demand on the system. When you feel that little stream suddenly turn freezing or boiling, you know you’ve got about 2 seconds to get out from under the shower thereby limiting the area of frostbite or 2nd degree burn to a small area on your back. What a delightful safety feature.
I was going to complain about having to use the rockets right after they’ve washed them. It is gross as we discussed over dinner one night. However, as I was about to bemoan the fact the “I always seem to have to pee right after they wash them” I then realized that, at my age, I just always have to pee…so it’s probably not a conspiracy…probably.
Nostalgia Can Fuck Up Your Taste
Not sure how I should feel about this but they inexplicably played Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” on BFBS radio on the way to work the other day…and I kind of enjoyed it.
Better Living Through Technology
M has finished his first release of the DFAC-O-MATIC app for IPhone/IPod. It’s probably the greatest labour saving device of the 21st century. Just spin the dial and it selects the DFAC to eat your meal at. No more arguing with co-workers or taking responsibility for your own decisions. You can even set the probabilities so preference is given to your favourites and exclude any that are too far a commute. Believe it or not, even with all that functionality at your fingertips, the Apple App Store rejected the first version because “it didn’t really do anything”. M has added a wonderful feature that allows the user to submit an online critique of their meals. It links, of course, to the JustDFACsMaam Contact page. Once this App goes live, I’ll start posting those reviews on a special page here.
I’m sure Apple doesn’t want to be seen as a company that doesn’t SUPPORT THE TROOPS so I’m confident they’ll accept it with this new feature for free distribution at the APP store. I’m not quite at the stage of calling for a boycott of Apple products but, beware Mr. Guy Who Replace Steve Jobs Because He Died, I’m not above driving your company to its knees over this. You can add your voice to my call for Apple not to be douchy about this and encourage them to accept the DFAC-O-MATIC at the APP store by emailing the CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeting him at @TimCookAppleCEO. I did..ok, I didn’t tweet him because I don’t know how…but I did email. Be the change you want to see.
See, good stuff does happen in KAF! Of course, when you define “good” as “not having to step in poo to use the bathroom”, the bar isn’t really set that high.
““That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity.” – Steve Jobs
“DFAC-O-Matic doesn’t really do enough” – Apple App Store