Thursday, December 01, 2005

This is my home, or "hooch", Tent 27. It's located in Tent City here on Camp Victory, Iraq.

Today's blog is designed to give you insight into how we live here in Iraq. New arrivals whose military or civilian companies don't have trailer space available have to bide their time in Tent City until a trailer becomes available. That "until a trailer becomes available" part of the deal could be a month or four. One of the ladies in my hooch has been there four months!

Each tent has cots for 10 women, so there could be anywhere from one to 10 women in each tent at any given time. At present, we have seven, but our old max was nine, if you don't count the day and a half that we had 10. Now, though, we are seven, and five of us are working for the same company.

Everybody likes to complain about the tents, but they really aren't that bad. I mean, they are dry, climate controlled (for the most part), and fairly clean, and nobody's shootin' at us, so I'm happy. The only crappy part is the distance between our tent and the toilets/showers, but I'm getting used to stopping the liquid intake well before bedtime and visiting the head before bed. It just really sucks when the need arises in the middle of a cold and/or muddy night. Just this morning, I was trying soooo hard to hold it for a final hour before my alarm was set to go off...but I didn't make it. It was a bummer, because I never did fall back asleep again. I hate losing precious sleep!

The issue of privacy isn't that big of a deal, except that I am unable to use the microphone and speakers when I chat with my sweetie each night. I don't want to disturb the neighbors. Oh, also, until she moved out, the tent was abuzz with rumors about one of the women secretly peeing in a bucket in the corner of the tent at night and emptying it in the sink in the morning. The same lady, reportedly, had a penchant for viewing pornos on her laptop at night. Haha. I have no evidence, but I do have second-hand testimony.

So, here's my home. I hope you enjoy the pics. Until next time, see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya.

That's my hooch, in the foreground, and way, way in the back, invisible behind that third tent, is the toilet. It is exactly 93 paces between my door and the door to the head.

(LEFT) This is my rack. It's pretty cozy, and I just recently moved to a corner cot, so it's good. I lock my valuables in my footlocker and my duffel bag during the day, but crime isn't a problem, as far as we know. Hanging on the laundry line there to the right is my new toy: rock rings. They're for building upper body strength. (RIGHT) This is the entrance to Hooch 27. When it's muddy, the entryway is full of mucky shoes.

Finally, this is the view to the left of my tent. Those guard towers are still standing from Saddam's reign, and I think someone actually lives in this one. Beyond that are the trailers where one of my company's teams works. They are the trailer monkeys, and we are the palace monkeys. Heehee.


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