In the part of Iraq I'm in we don't have a lot of sand. What we have is a lot of powder. The stuff is so fine that walking in it raises clouds of it. It gets everywhere. It's so fine in fact that the impact of rain on it raises it into the air. Instead of making the air easier to breathe, or better yet knocking impurities out of the air, it is now more challenging to
Ever end up in a cloud of any kind of powder that made breathing challenging? Remember swinging your arms around in an attempt to disperse it? Remember trying to walk away from it? Now imagine it being everywhere and not knowing for how long...
Travellers tip... If you have hayfever or are asthmatic do not come to Iraq! Oh, it's also advisable not to come here if you're allergic to lead ; )
Now that the story's been in the European Stars and Stripes, I can say what happened to me the other day.
As I was walking towards the chow hall I noticed some smoke. When I got a bit closer, there was a fairly loud explosion. I happened to be close enough to feel a bit of the blast!
That was about the time that I hauled balls to the nearest bunker/shelter. On my little "jog" there were two more explosions... There was a Sgt from the Army how decided to go jogging with me ; ) Once we entered the shelter we justed looked and eachother and said "WTF was that?"!
The smoke from the fire, and the fire itself got to be pretty big. A bit later the fire department and medics showed up too.
We finally came to the conclusion that the explosions were from something other than an attack, emergency services folks had everything under control and went on our way.
Turns out some knucklehead local contractor was using a water pump to pump diesel fuel while refilling a generator from his fuel truck. It didn't work out to well... His truck went "BOOM"!
Needless to say, it was a rather entertaining experience ; )
Ok ok... I admit that it used to be a danger! Especially if you were a coalition pilot freeing Iraq not long ago ; )
The anti aircraft gun I'm sitting on is disabled now, but I just couldn't resist getting a picture. Guess that's a "guys and guns" thing ; )