Sunday, July 11, 2010
Djibouti; So Nice They Named it Twice
It's good to be back. I have been settling in Djibouti City, Djibouti for the past two weeks and am finally getting a chance to kick my feet up. It's been one hell of an experience so far, and I have experienced quite a bit in the relatively short amount of time that I have been here. For example:
Grand Bara: Since I was a child watching people break the land speed record on dried up lake beds, I had always wanted to race across the cracked landscape as fast as I could possibly go. Sadly, the Toyota Landcruisers become unruly after about 90 kilometers an hours, so I kept her at 85. It blew my mind as to how much nothingness was out there. The silence was unlike anything I have ever experienced. A calming silence, no electronic hum, no rattling A/C unit, just pure silence. The darkness was the same way. The near absolute darkness that was only interupted by the stars and distant light of fires on a far away hillside. It brought peace of mind to be so primitive for those few short hours.
With being away from home, family and friends, several things increase in importance:
Communication: It seems that time dissapears faster than 34x32 shorts at the BX. That was a military only joke, so bear with me. Alot of time is "wasted" walking. Combine that with the HUGE time difference of 7-10 hours and you're looking at some late nights on the phone. Sleep being of high importance for me, I save phone time for the weekends. The Internet is slow here, too slow to even bother in most cases, I occasionally update facebook and email a few people here and there. I am in the process of writing letters to my loved ones (you know who you are) and I apologize in advance if I seem to be forgetting about you. Im working on it!
Food: Delicious. People complain, but the holds ZERO relevancy for me. They are idiots. Keeping paleo is easy out here as well. They even have avacados! We have steak on friday, seafood on tuesday (I think) and a great variety any other time during the week. Sadly, there is alot of junk food too, and I see the fat sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines digging into the Ice cream, cakes and cookies. They say you either get in the best shape of your life on deployment or you become the fattest you've ever been. I'm in the first catagory.
Morale: High. With three beers a day rationed to me (I only drink Fridays and occasionally Saturdays) life is good! Combine that with the perfect cure for a hangover, a pool, and life is sweet. The gym here is pretty cool too. You get alot of guys trying to show boat and parade around with sleeveless shirts and cologne on, but I don't let that bother me. I laugh at them and just shake my head, and proceed to deadlift 450 pounds.
Living: Cramped. I have a changing area, living room, bed, storage area and kitchen. All those areas, sadly, are literally in my bed, and "walking" from one area to the next is as simple as using your imagination.
Life isn't always good, I do have a few gripes, and venting is one of the best forms of therapy out there.
1. If I see one more dude wearing Vibram Five Finger shoes do nothing but Exotic Ab exercises and dumbell curls, I'll lose it!
2. I hate how everything is just a constant battle of testosterone. Especially friday night when Alcohol and girls are involved. And speaking of girls.
3. Girls, stop dressing up like you're in LA getting ready to hit the clubs. If you want a man, you'll get one. With a 30:1 ratio, Rosie O'Donnell could have them lined up if she so chose.
4. The heat. Unbelievable heat. There has yet to be a day with a high under 95. Most days are 110+ degrees.
That's about the gist of things out here. It's like anywhere you go. Full of ups and downs. Fortunatley, the ups are much more plentiful than the downs.