Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Leaving and other thoughts

So I got to watch the season premiere of the Amazing Race. I have to say that the first episode did not impress me. I was also slightly amazed to learn that this is the 10th or 11th season. The last season I saw in its entirety was season 7. Not much has changed except that they appear to have selected the teams based not so much on ability but more so on classification. What I mean is this; they have (had) a muslim team, a single black mom team, a gay team, an Indian team, a South Carolina hot chick team, a beauty pageant team etc. So what this means is that it looks like they are pulling a “Survivor” to gain ratings. When I finally apply to win the Amazing Race I hope I do not have to come up with a silly gimmick. The good news is that my racing partner would be a dude that has also served in Iraq. Maybe we could play the Iraq War Veteran card to get on the show. Time will tell. I still think we will both have to hide our true passports and lie about our language skills because otherwise we are way too well traveled and would be leaps and bounds better than the next best team. You guys all want to see me win the Amazing Race, I know it. Trust me, if they put me on there, I just made 1M dollars. No doubts. Maybe some show executive will read this and think I am challenging them and put me on just to se if I will sink or swim. I hope so. Also, I (we) have to make a less than 3 minute video tape to present to the show. If any of you are in that line of work (making videos), let me know. I am happy to pay to have a great quality, edited, and original VHS tape to present to the show.

Anyway, they installed a new Giant Voice system near my hooch. I still can’t hear it clearly in my hooch even though I am less than 100 meters away. At least I can hear that something is being said and can make it to the door before they repeat the message. The first message I heard tonight was something about “securing valuables and moving to the nearest exit”. That one was a new one on me. Well it turns out that they are testing the system. So I keep hearing all these weird announcements and it is quite unnerving. They have an email system called “All Hands Alerts” that they send to anyone on the network. They send messages about power outages, water outages, religious services, pretty much everything. Maybe they could have sent one saying they would be testing the system. Would that have been so hard? Anyway, now when I hear it I don’t know if I should care or go back to watching TV. I think I will choose the latter.

I am leaving in about 8 days! I can hardly believe it. I don’t know what to think. I know that I am flying to London and then I will fly via a cheap ticket on Ryan Air to Holland. I will stay about a week in Holland and then I am flying to Ireland. I am staying at a friend’s house there and I may get to attend the Marine Ball while I am there. I guess I will have to pack a suit after all. After that I think I will go to London for a night or 2 and then I am going to head south to Monkey World. What a great place. I didn’t get to go there last time but now I have the time. Then on 21 Oct I catch my cruise from Southampton to Florida.

I am thankful that I didn’t mail all of my belongings back yet. I was almost going to mail my drivers license but that would have sucked because I intend on hiring a car and driving it from FL to SC. Good thing I kept it in my other wallet. You see, one doesn’t need a wallet here. Everyone wears these things around their neck that carries everything from passport to money to ID cards. Needless to say, a state issued drivers permit is of no use in Iraq. So I carry this thing around my neck and it has my DOD card, my Embassy ID, my Iraqi weapons permit ETC ETC ETC. Well I was going to mail it all back but then I found it in my wallet. I was also happy to find 500GBP in the wallet as well. Apparently I forgot to cash that out before I left England the last time. So now I have about 1000$ to spend when I get there. Free money. Not only that but once I sell my personal weapon, my Walther P99, I should fetch an additional 1000$. That should cover me for a few days at least. 2 grand of free money as I see it.

Tomorrow I part with my beloved ice cream maker. My mom sent it to me but I will not be mailing it home. More costly I think than the purchase price to mail it home. I will spray paint 110V on it and give it, along with some rock salt and condensed milk to a buddy of mine.

My buddy got back from Jordan the other day. I gave him 30 bucks to buy me some Dead Sea products. He got me some soap and salts and mud. He robbed me by taking the by 2 get one free for himself but he will be forgiven. After all he had to pack mule all that crap so he deserves something.

I was going to go to Nepal myself but I decided to make a family event of it. I think a nice family reunion trekking to Base Camp would be cool. So far my family isn’t too keen. I think it is a great idea. What other family do you know that can say they climbed Everest? Not all the way mind you, but climbing to base camp is no small accomplishment. I hope they will agree to come but if not, off I go. I have enough frequent flyer miles for about 3 round-trip tickets anywhere in the world first class. I might as well use them. I also have enough points at Sheraton for about 15 free nights. I doubt Sheraton has a big presence in Nepal, but who knows and who cares? It is cheap anyway.

So that is about it. I just watched Water boy and am about to pick up Angels and Devils. So far it is pretty decent. I like it better than DaVinci code so far.




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