They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Jan 25, 2009

Smoking A Hookah, Riding A Camel, and 3 Beers A Day...

Ladies & Gentlemen, this is a camel...


And I rode it.

This is me smoking a hookah sitting on the beach in Qatar. That's the Persian Gulf right behind me. Off to the right is Saudi Arabia. If only there was something worth smoking in there!


This is my buddy, Duby, that's right he is smoking a hookah and his name is Duby. How beautiful is that?


And finally this is the hookah....


The picture doesn't do it justice It was like 3 feet tall.

So that was my day. I rode a camel, I smoked a hookah on the beach, and now I am sitting here writing to all of you right before I go and have my authorized 3 beers for the day. Fun for me.

If you ever get out to Qatar, I recommend the grape flavored smoke it was wonderful.

Anyways, moving on. Well I have come to several realizations while I have been here. What are they?

Well allow me to enlighten you.

1. Indoor plumbing is the most wonderful thing that anyone, anywhere, has ever invented.
2. Award winning chow halls are not a good place for a fat guy to go.
3. Combat zone habits make you look like an absolute retard if you are not in a combat zone.

The first two are self-explanatory. The third one may require some clarification. Then again, maybe it doesn't but I am going to do it anyways.

So on the way out to the beach today we were riding in a few trucks that the Army chartered to take us out there. The driver was a Palestinian guy named Hassam or something like that. Really cool guy, but a lunatic behind the wheel.

So we get out to the dunes that cover the distance between the Qatari highway and the beach, and he guns it. Runs us up and down all these sand dunes and around all these oasis's and around all these palm trees and shit, he even stopped to show us a plant. I forget the name but here's a picture of it. Apparently it only grows in the winter and then the camels come by and eat it. This was the extent of our sight-seeing today.


Anyways, back to us flying across the desert. Every time we drove past anything that didn't belong in the desert. I mean a bag of trash, a random bottle of water, a bush that looked like it had been messed with. Anything that was even remotely out of the ordinary. I felt myself tensing up as we drove by it. Waiting for the impending IED blast.

I guess it was noticeable so Hassam started to make fun of me. As it turns out he says that a lot of the GI's that come here do the same shit. So he has fun with us by driving right by all that stuff. Ah, Hassam, a guy after my own heart. I would do the same thing. Any chance you get to fuck with people's heads you take it. Am I wrong.

Then later on that day I was walking through the PX with Duby and another guy from his unit and we came up to some barrier and had to walk around it. Without even realizing what he was doing, he took out an imaginary rifle and pied the corner (will take too long to explain) and cleared behind the barrier before he let us continue on. Well at least I am not that bad yet, but the letter is in the mail. You know what I mean?

So anyways, that is my observations for today and I want my beer and I have to call the mom so...

I am done for now.


I love you mom...


  1. HA - I have a friend I work with who is Muslim and he has talked about opening a Hookah bar - LOL - the first time I saw a hookah was when I was in London and a bunch of men were sitting there smoking them, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what they were smoking so I assumed it was pot - and not knowing anything about a hookah, I figured they were very nice looking bongs - it was hilarious - my friend and I walked by again and just couldnt believe it we later learned about the hookah and to this day, we still get a good laugh when we talk about it. Any who, I'm glad to see you are getting some R&R - but where is the water behind you - I don't see it. :) Enjoy the rest of your R&R. And I hear on the news that for the superbowl, you will be allowed 2 beers - have you heard that one yet? Take care, the better 1/2 of the Head Ghost.

  2. mudpuppy...How amamzing it must have been to ride a camel!

    Sounds to me as though you and Duby may want to consider Amsterdam for your next R & R! Just sayin'


  3. Glad to hear/see that you are having some fun and relaxing a bit. Good to know that you can appreciate Hassams humor and still laugh at yourself. Take care of yourself and have fun.
    Love ya,

  4. It's interesting to see how much your writing has changed in such a short amount of time. Must be the change of environment huh?

  5. I like your blogs and they are funny. I look forward to reading them, I check everyday to see what is new.

  6. great pics. hope the beer was cold, cold.
    take very good care,

  7. mudpuppy,

    I'm glad you are getting a little R&R. All of you certainly deserve it. Looks like you enjoyed yourself.

    That is one crazy plant. I've never seen anything like it and you say camels eat it. Very interesting.

    Riding a camel would be interesting. My mother did just that when she was in Egypt, but said it was very uncomfortable. Did you find it so.

    Stay safe, my friend. Praying for you and all heroes.


  8. Hi Mud Puppy,
    I am far behind on my comments on your blog posts. So I will do my best to play catch-up:

    1. Camel is cute. Puppies are cuter! I have heard that camels can be very nasty. (Spitting, biting and kicking. Stubborn too!)
    2. I agree with all of your "realizations" especially the one about the indoor plumbing. I think you should have given Hassam a swift kick in the arse for taking you on his version of IED alley. That was not nice or funny.
    3. Love the story at the top of your blog. That teacher deserved to get socked in the jaw.
    4. Glad to see you are a baseball fan. Being from Baltimore, I have had to deal with the losing ways of the Orioles for far too long now. Gone are the glory days of Cal Ripken, Brooks, Frank,Boog Powell & Eddie Murray. My sister lives in Chicago, so I guess I will have to accept your Sox craziness. As long as you will understand that I am also a Yankee fan
    5. Loved the pictorial tribute to America. Let's see...sports, boobs & babes, babies & beer, patriotic themes, bald eagles and soldiers. The sentiment on the favorite. "Live a life worthy of their sacrifice."
    6. Loved the MP on MP feistiness...these porta-shitters are designated for the Air Force, cause you know their shit don't stink! Another fine example of military rules and regs that make no sense.
    7. Hey Mr. President...well that was downright prolific. Yes, it did seem like a college term paper. I read every page and I am still digesting it all. The media here rarely if ever gives any insight as to what is going on in Iraq or Afghanistan. Your assignment for next week: what are your thoughts on the disposition of prisoners at Gitmo?
    8. Hope you are enjoying your R&R in Qatar. Take care MP.

  9. Dear Mudpuppy, I am so glad you are enjoying your R&R. But, forgive me stupidity, but why smoke a hookah? And why grape? Better aftertaste? And since you "share" then isn't it like sharing a cigar? Sorry, but I lead a very sheltered, boring life. How is the fish? Good food? And the travel to and from--same as ever? Take care and keep educating us. Love, another mom of soldiers

  10. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 01/26/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

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