Live from Baghdad

My adventures in Iraq.

Monday, April 25, 2005

You know you've been in Baghdad too long if:

(This dates back to August 2004, but a lot of it is still relevant.)

  • You start to think "it's not so bad here"
  • You say "this place sort of grows on you"
  • You say "it's not the humidity, it's the heat" (for Houston residents only)
  • You say, "it feels cooler today" and find out that the temperature is 105
  • The term "trailer trash" is a term of endearment
  • You think "DVD Mista" is a friendly greeting
  • You call your tent (trailer if you're lucky) 'home'
  • A "weekend" lasts from 0730 to 1200 on Friday
  • You get excited at the idea of ICE
  • You don't jump when a door slams or someone drops something
  • You aren't alarmed when every second person you see has a gun...or two...or three
  • You kick the M-16 on the floor aside without a second thought when you sit down to eat in the Dining Facility.
  • A Gloc or 9 mm on a lady's hip is considered sexy
  • Mortars and rockets sounds are "okay" compared to Vehicle bombs (IED's)
  • You can measure distances based on explosion sounds
  • "Scoring" means you acquired a new weapon
  • You go to Fallujah and Mosul for R&R
  • You are soothed by the sounds of helicopters flying six feet over your trailer
  • You automatically get down on your hands and knees in the dirt to inspect the underside of your car, even when you are wearing a suit or skirt
  • Bullet holes in cars are no longer alarming
  • Car selections consist of "hard" or "soft", not Cadillac or Mercedes
  • Road trips consist of 6 vehicles and large caliber weapons
  • Driving on the sidewalk is normal
  • Driving on the wrong side of a divided four lane street is normal
  • Driving 60 mph through a bustling street market is considered prudent
  • Hit-and-run fender benders are treated as mere warnings
  • Riding in a hot Humvee is preferred to an air-conditioned soft car
  • You get upset that you don't get C-130 Frequent Flyer Miles
  • Your carry-on luggage includes a flack jacket and helmet
  • You enjoy waiting 45 minutes for the toilets to refill
  • You start believing that Deodorant should be a personal choice
  • KBR buzz cuts begin to look stylish
  • "Texas Barriers" are something other than a device to keep Texans out
  • "Jersey Barriers" are something other than fences to keep Holsteins away from Jerseys
  • You begin to believe that project construction being blown up only twice a week is progress
  • You get excited with the presence of clouds
  • You know ten times as many South Africans as you've ever known before
  • The security guards are Ghurka or South African and you know them
  • Afrikaans at the pool is normal
  • You look forward to Mohammad's Mango ice cream as the treat for the day
  • Powdered eggs taste ok
  • You consider plastic ware the Palace China
  • You can distinguish inherent qualities of various plastic utensils
  • The quality of the plastics utensils becomes a hot dinner topic
  • Having to separate plastic plates causes you undue stress
  • Lettuce for your salad becomes a luxury
  • Scamming a 3rd can of soda makes you feel like you got even with someone
  • You are putting on weight because the Saddam's Revenge Diet no longer works
  • Going to another mess hall is an adventure
  • You think desert combat boots look great with a dark blue suit or shorts
  • Sand between your thong sandals actually feels good
  • The color white is no longer an option
  • Speedos for security guards seem right
  • You can recognize 12 different camouflage patterns
  • You've given up on shoe polish
  • You think the bullet holes in the roof of your trailer is just another form of ventilation
  • You get upset because the post office won't ship your looted artifacts
  • You haven't had water from anything other than a bottle for months on end
  • You consider broken sandbags just a new beach expansion
  • The idea of a double wide is only for the fortunate
  • Forgetting your badge makes you feel naked...but pants are optional
  • A bootleg of the new stateside release is not available at the PX 2 days later
  • "Only one rocket has hit the Palace" is excellent news
  • Cardboard boxes have become substantial pieces of furniture
  • Stars & Stripes seems to be a liberal newspaper
  • Acronyms become the acceptable language
  • It feels normal to have to run outside to make a cell phone call
  • You call your coworkers on a cell phone as soon as new T-shirt patterns arrive at the PX
  • "Can you hear me" takes up 50% of your cellular telephone conversations
  • You realize it is Saturday or Sunday because no one from DC phones