Sunday, August 26, 2007

A tent next to ours. Ours is the same, except this one has a pretty sunset behind it, and ours doesn't.

We are in a tent designated “military”, which should mean that only military women live there, but which apparently means that only military women and civilians who can’t fit in the civilian tents live in there. KBR, you are such a pain in the arse.

We are fine with the (paltry) accommodations, now that the A/C has been fixed (on Day 1, it was so hot Melissa and I almost pitched a public fit with KBR, but instead decided to put in a work order to get it fixed...novel concept...). I was actually expecting the tents to be fairly nice, like they were when I left the tents a year ago, but they are far, far worse. Before, we lived in crap accommodations that eventually got better and better until we each had real beds, as well as wall lockers, and the wall lockers provided some amount of privacy. Now, however, we are back to Square One, with no lockers and two rows of cots. The cots do have sagging, filthy, stained mattresses on them, but I removed mine and replaced it with my camping Thermarest mattress, upon which I sleep inside of my 55-degree REI sleeping bag. Good times. I love to camp, but this is ridiculous. I tell you all of this so you will understand why we get paid the big bucks. Heh, heh.

ANYWHO, the living arrangement had been fine, with me taking up an entire corner right beneath the A/C, up until about three nights ago. There were four or five of us in the tent until then, and we had just gotten rid of the snaggle-toothed troll who lived across from my cot and never seemed to work or do anything other than watch DVDs all night, sleep all day, and eat stinky chow-hall food in bed. Sadly, however, our easy-living bliss was rudely interrupted when an entire brigade or so of Army soldiers (I know that is redundant, but I am writing for a diverse audience, and some might not know that ONLY Army personnel are referred to as soldiers) moved into our tent city overnight. We went through CRC with a lot of them, but the girls in our tent are all knew faces. It seems the CRC crowd that we flew to Kuwait with had to stay there 10 days for training, and now they are all here, finally.

SO, our comfortable little tent went from four or five to 12--full capacity--as women trickled in all night long. Nobody got any sleep that night, and very few have been getting much sleep in subsequent nights. As I write this, a few nights after the influx, our numbers are back down to eight. But one of those eight is a snorer, and a mere foot of space separates her rack from mine. That means about two feet separate her head from mine. I wear earplugs and a blindfold, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hear her snoring, and one of my biggest peeves is audible breathing. I think the poor dear has sleep apnea, no doubt a result of her, ehem, few extra pounds.

Another problem here is that nobody gives a rat’s ass about other people’s sleep. Well, I suppose the actually do care a bit, if I must be honest, but it does SEEM like nobody gives a rat’s about people who need sleep. Lights are flipped on at random times throughout the night when most of the gals are asleep, lights are turned out during the day when most of us need to see, talking and giggling at all hours is a common occurrence, people love to let the door slam (a new vice I, too, have picked up as a way of getting back at my inconsiderate tent mates (I think I will call them tenties)), and, this is my biggest complaint, people love to open the door so wide that the bottle full of rocks on a string that weights the door and causes it to close gets caught on (this is hard to explain) the bar on the ceiling over which it is slung, thereby un-weighting the door and causing it to fling open when someone (like myself) applies the normally required amount of door-opening pressure to it, expecting a much, much heavier door. The lack of resistance can send the unsuspecting opener of the door flying forward, oftentimes directly into the slack of the string that holds the now-stuck bottle full of rocks, whereupon the extension of the door takes out the slack and causes the rope to catch the opener of the door in the nose or neck. I realize those sentences are long and difficult to read, but I am hoping my prolific use of the common comma will smooth things out for you. I love the comma; it’s like a little traffic cop, telling us when to slow, pause, and readjust. Did I tell you I am a grammar dork? My, but I do digress!

Where was I? Ah, yes. I was bitching about my tenties. I reckon this is getting pretty boring by now, so I will try to wrap this up. I just wanted you all to know that sleeping in an open, squad-bay like tent is very, very difficult. Sleep is a precious commodity, and we are all poor in that department. Melissa and I can hardly wait for the extra girlies to move into their trailers or out to other FOBs (forward operating bases) so that we can sleep a little better again. The waiting list for the Army girls to get trailers moves way faster than the one for civilians, so most of the girls should be out of here very soon. And the good news is, the audible breather just informed me that she is out of here next week. Since she is a civilian, she should be behind us on the 3-month civilian trailer waiting list, but I guess she has a friend who is moving out of a trailer and turning over the keys to her. That is very much against the rules, and it is the main reason the civilian waiting list never moves, but Melissa and I are so glad we won’t have to live with her anymore that we’re not complaining.

And that’s all I have to say about that. Peace out! I hope this blog will help you remember to remember us out here whenever you go to bed in your comfy beds, in your private rooms with indoor plumbing! Give the porcelain a flush for us, and pleasant dreams to you all!

A view of our hooch when it wasn't as crowded.

My corner, under the A/C, which allows for extra storage space.


Post a Comment

<< Home