I got back to KAF last week. Fuck.
Yeah, well, anyway, how about I tell you a little bit about some shit? By the time I have this blog post written I should be 2-3 hours closer to getting the fuck outta here again.
Pretty much the happiest place in KAF is the Kilo Hangar departure area. After check in, you usually have to wait about an hour before they let you inside the hangar. This used to mean sitting out in direct sunlight in 35 – 50C heat but now we have the luxury of a stuffy, dreary, theoretically air conditioned tent. Doesn’t matter though, everyone, with the exception of the poor bastards who are just awaiting flights to even worse shitholes than KAF, is in a good mood. Business class lounge it ain’t but it’s the first tangible sign that one is getting out.
Dubai, while the antithesis of every value I hold dear, at least has beer. The Irish bar in Terminal 1 usually has a bunch of middle-aged guys in beige cargo pants and golf shirts sitting at the bar so it’s a great place to commiserate with others who are sick and fucking tired of finding footprints and poo on toilet seats. The only problem with the place (besides the $11 for a beer) is that there are no goddamn bathrooms in it. You have to go out to the terminal concourse and walk about 50 metres to take a piss. To add insult to injury, there are two prayer rooms (one for men and one for women because Allah said women have cooties or something) right across from the bar. I presume this is so the many Muslims I see swilling Jack Daniels can stagger across for immediate absolution or whatever.
Frankfurt’s a pretty decent airport. The Lufthansa business lounges are excellent. Warsteiner beer is pretty much the perfect breakfast food after spending an overnight flight from Toronto or Dubai cramped in economy class. Of course, any place, no matter how great, can be made somewhat miserable by the appearance of douchebags. Perhaps you think I was being a little too judgmental by deciding that the guy in the red velvet shoes, red smoking jacket, ridiculously huge sunglasses and pretentiously stupid fedora was a douchebag the moment I set eyes on him. Well, you’re fucking wrong. While we were all stuck on the stairs in the terminal as the bus to the aircraft was loading, Douchebag and his 3 douchebag friends were having an extremely loud conversation in Arabic (face it…a Romance language, it ain’t) and jostling each other about. Plus, just look at the fucker. He’s a douchebag and I hate him.
The food on my Lufthansa flights both to and from Dubai was seriously disappointing this time. The pasta looked like it had just decided it had had enough. Deflated, defeated and definitely not delicious. And whatever happened to Lufthansa’s awesome cheese sandwich. The snack about 90 minutes before landing used to be a delicious, fresh, sliced roll filled with giant chunks of delightful cream cheese-like substance. The hot food on airlines in economy always sucks to some extent so I was looking forward to the best sandwich in the skies. Alas, the bastards, while still offering a “cheese sandwich” now hand you a couple of pieces of seemingly artificially unstale brown bread (ugh..brown bread) with a slice of what appears to be process cheez in it. I guess they don’t want the folks in economy class gettin’ too uppity.
The best flight of this travel cycle was on Air Canada from Frankfurt to Toronto. I got upgraded to my rightful place in Business Class with its pretty decent food, unrude flight attendants and comfy pod-like seats that go completely horizontal. And, what would a flight from Germany be without a guy in lederhosen. Yeah, seriously. Capt Von Trapp unselfconsciously rocked those badboys through Toronto airport like he owned the fucking place.
I think I may have to up my fashion game as I head home next time. The guy at security at Toronto airport asked me, “Do you work overseas?”
“Yeah, how could you tell?”
I guess I should occasionally wear something other than desert boots and tan cargo pants. But the pockets…I love the fucking pockets.
In my last post, I showed off the awesome body work my Visa card did on my car during my last rotation. Well, I decided that I had to eventually start actually doing some of the work on the car myself if I wanted to get away with calling it a “hobby”. The car had a power drain that I couldn’t trace because the wiring was a bloody mess from 40 years of idiots like me fucking with it. So, I drove a perfectly serviceable muscle car back from the shop and proceeded to tear all of the wiring out of it. I had purchased a Painless brand wiring harness/kit and soon discovered that wiring a car is really hard when you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing.
The Painless kit was pretty good in that the wires were labeled every 6 inches to tell you what circuit they were for…all except one. Yeah, the fuckers left one wire unlabeled and never mentioned it at all in the instructions. There was a note that said to refer to the table on page 34 of their 27 page instruction manual which, not surprisingly, was unhelpful. So, I called their technical support line in, I guess, Texas, and my call was answered by a man I can only assume was named Bubba. I asked about the mystery wire and, in a drawl which, somewhat impressively, simultaneously conveyed both boredom and disdain, he told me “‘at’s fer the masta sinda presha sensa“. Being the helpful gent that I am I then proceeded to point out that referring to page 34 in a 27 page manual might be problematic and was met with a disinterested “Yahuh”. At that point I decided that a discussion of configuration management best practices and ISO 9000 would likely be poorly received. Anyway, I didn’t quite get the wiring done in time due, in part, to my inability to figure out how to properly use the expensive crimper I bought. Thanks to Youtube, I eventually found out I had it upside down but, by then, it was time to hop on a plane.
My wife, being privy to my goal of one solid bowel movement per KAF roto (yeah, we’ve been married a while) suggested I try this new vaccine she’d read about. Oh, stop your groaning, most of you who’ve been to KAF have had at least a few days of intestinal distress while here. Dukoral claims to provide protection against travelers’ diarrhea, cholera and dysentery for up to six months. So, I dosed myself with the stuff while at home. Well, the good news is, it turns out that whatever the hell invades our lower intestine within 45 seconds of stepping off a plane into this fetid shithole, it ain’t travelers’ diarrhea, dysentery or cholera.
So, enough about non-KAF places. I’ll begin the KAF update with an amusing event I forgot to put in the last post. Impressively safety conscious, this bus driver had a ground guide get out to direct him as he backed into his parking spot. The ground guide motioned the driver back … back …back …KERUNCH!..right into the Jersey barrier. The brake signal the guide gave about 2 seconds after the impact was delicious. I really felt sorry for those two as I fumbled for my camera between guffaws. I think I’m a bit of a shithead sometimes.
There must be some sort of egg surplus around here. The dude at the Northline used two ladle-fulls of egg like substance for my omelette the other day. It was fucking huge. Who the hell eats that much pseudo-egg at a sitting? I would have dismissed this as an anomaly but the very next day, the Omelette King at the Cambridge gave me 4 eggs over-easy rather than the 3 he’s been making me for 5 stinkin’ years! Something’s up. Oh yeah…and there’s no fucking bacon. Northline is still offering rice in place of the missing bacon. WTF?
Hey, here’s a picture of something called Bee Sting cake from the Cambridge. As an American army dude looked quizzically at it, I counseled “Try it! How can you not want to try something with such an awesome name? It’s Bee Sting cake, man!” “But I don’t know what that is”, he replied, wrinkling up his nose before grabbing some familiar shit that didn’t upset his entire worldview. I had some. It was delicious. In your face, army man.
Isn’t anyone else concerned about the apparent sinkhole forming under the Northline? Take a look at the little walls separating the eating areas. There’s a definite slope to them and the floor that I’m pretty sure isn’t a design feature. What up wit dat? Given the climate and topography of this craptastic desert, I’m not certain Shai-Hulud can be totally ruled out as a cause factor.
R was pretty concerned upon finding some unrecognizable translucent thingy in her fruit salad not once but twice. Inexplicably, despite not knowing what the hell it was and being somewhat put off by its presence in her food, she ate it. Apparently, the taste, or more correctly, the lack of any discernible flavour, did not provide any further insight into what it was. We hope some fruitologist out there will be able to identify it for us. If you’re a entomologist and recognize it…just keep that info to yourself.
I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be willing to put up with this place as things continue to change pretty rapidly. Recently, some new folks have moved into our building. Believe it or not, our bathrooms are quite rapidly becoming even more foul cesspools of vileness than I’ve bitched about in the past. Between the constant loogie hocking, shit filled toilets plugged with paper towel, dirt from clothes washing in the shower, snot blasted into sinks, and petty theft, I’m finding the newest tenants in our building to be somewhat off-putting. But maybe I’m just a fucking princess. Ugh!
Might soon be time to hang up my desert boots.
“There’s only so far you can go before you say enough is enough.” – Jennifer Granholm
Good to have you back. We missed you and we don’t even know you!
I’m the guy snapping pics with an iPod in the DFACs much to the bemusement of the servers.
You are always funny. Sorry the Dukoral didn’t work….
could it perhaps be a piece of Asian Pear? They are pretty translucent, just saying.
Does Asian Pear taste like nothing? If so, you may be on to something.
Rice instead of bacon? That is fucking insanity! Bad enough you are in a war zone, but no bacon??
Glad to be back I see? Hehe
Yes, I’m veritably oozing with enthusiasm. Oops, that’s not enthusiasm.
Thanks for your insights – hope to meet ya in a month or so (just wish it would be under better circumstances)
Wouldn’t that be Enthoooooziasm then?