Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Inevitable Return of the Great White Dope

It's 10:35 p.m. Kuala Lumpur time, and I am painfully reminded why I hardly drink soda. A Pepsi Max at dinner 3 hours ago has me wired to the point where I thought dusting off the old weblog was a good idea. KL time, eh? Yes, I write from the bottom bunk of an empty room on the second floor of a military barracks at Camp Navarro, Zamboanga City, Philippines (not cool enough to have a time zone named after their own country, I guess). I'm in the midst of my first of two weeks here in Zambo, conducting a condensed training course on two of Harris' seemingly unending cache of radios.

I must say, I've had my fill of Navarro already. Approximately five buildings form this impromptu "installation," and of those five, one is for eating and the other, well...for making toilet. Doesn't leave much in the way of entertainment. To make matters worse, Zambo isn't exactly the friendliest of cities, and the US Embassy and armed forces have restricted me to the confines of the camp, lest I wander outside and have my head lopped off on a webcam in some unfinished basement. Not really an alternative to cabin fever, but issue me an M4 and a few extra magazines, and I think I'd do all right on my own. I didn't unlock the M4 Veteran call sign in Modern Warfare 2 for nothin', ya know...

I'm certain no one reads this page, but for those that did, or do, or will, I suppose an explanation is owed for an exact three-month absence from online time-wasting. I don't recall the cause (truth be told, I do, but it's water under the bridge over a problem that has long since been resolved), but I do know that several beers and the notion that if I refused to let people into my life, they wouldn't get hurt, were involved. So rather unfairly to my HTML text, I kicked it to the curb and drove to Illinois.

After a month of Yuengling guzzling and endless whining about injuries and poor performances by my beloved Philadelphia Phillies, I spent 5 weeks in the Sultanate of Oman. Sultanate presumably being an Arabic word for "shit hole," or something of the like. A vacation, you may ask..? Hardly. Just a trip back to Earth's anus to perform a field trial of several different radios for the Omani military. And a seemingly unsuccessful trial at that, though the results are still unknown. I think?

And that about brings us up to the present. A short two-week stint at home in New York saw me pulled off a project in the United Arab Emirates and assigned to Manila, the nightmarish hive of a capital city, charactarized by its elevated roads, luxury hotels, impoverished neighborhoods, and army of motorists to drive you to beyond insanity (no pun intended).

I suppose I'll enjoy the silence of my now-empty bedroom, since sleep apparently isn't going to come easily on this night. All because the chow hall was out of orange Gatorade...