Mine started, oh, 32 hours ago, I think, in Washington, which I think is part of the United States. It's ending in my hotel room in Kuwait, where, on the advice of the USO staff, I'm trying to stay up for a while to avoid waking up in the middle of the night. Although I think it already is the middle of the night at this point.
The USO also advised me that the military doesn't look too kindly upon dumbasses like me accidentally revealing details of our itinerary in advance. So I'll try not to do that anymore.
Fortunately, there's plenty to tell you about what's happened since I took off from Andrews Air Force Base yesterday afternoon.
The vaunted "17-hour flight" was actually an 8-hour flight to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, followed by a layover of a couple hours, followed by a 4-hour flight to Kuwait's international airport. For the record, I watched exactly zero (0) episodes of "The West Wing."
Instead, I spent some time getting acquainted with my fellow travelers, and also with the shitkickingly awesome life that is traveling with the US military.
Yeah. That's the inside of our C-17 transport right before we took off. Basically, they load it with "pallets." One contained a couple of bathrooms, one contained our luggage, and one contained the seats you see there. It's a surprisingly comfortable ride, although it's very strange to not be able to look out a window. Instead, the view from the seats is like this.
Note the absence of paneling on the walls and ceiling -- it's probably more or less the same stuff as on any airliner, but they didn't bother plastering it over because, you know, it's the military and they figure we're grownups.
Anyway, Al and I wrote sketches for a while, I snoozed for a while, I read a bit, and we landed in Germany at, I think, 3 or 4 in the morning local time. MAJOR props to the staff at the DFAC (that's the dining hall), who stayed up to wait for us and cooked us bacon and things. That probably saved some lives.
I slept the rest of the way to Kuwait.
I have to be up pretty soon, so I'm going to cut this short for the moment. I still have a full day, which included a stop at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, to fill you in on, but for now, here's the quickie rundown. Crazy hotel, foreign shower, Lexus camping, steak AND lobster, mechanics everywhere, and, oh yeah, impromptu hoedown.
You think I'm kidding?