250 days in Afghanistan, lessons learned, experiences and OMG WTF IS THAT

October 22nd, 2013
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Here we are… on my 250thaversary (I don’t think that’s a word…) and let me tell you… IM STILL ALIVE! Awesome, right!?

You may be able to see it from my tweets, facebook updates, and wacky images I’m able to capture with instagram, but I down play a lot of the ‘threat’ here.  Oh, the threat is VERY real on a VERY regular basis, but I totally downplay it, especially if sharing something might put American lives in jeopardy… so I don’t talk about those things… a LOT of things.   But hey! This isn’t something for you to be worried about! I mean, the threat is just as real as being in Chicago, so I’ll down play it some more! :)

Afghanistan is kind of like being in prison, except for all of the benefits… of being in Prison!

We often joke about the similarities to prison, I mean lets consider a few points…

  • Housing is “Free” in that we live in supplied housing.  And while at the same time… my room is roughly the same size, or slightly smaller than a typical US Prison Jail Cell, so that’s pretty awesome! Albeit the building can burn down at any given moment due to the fact it’s essentially made of balsa wood :)
  • Food is “Free” in DFAC provided food.  Except the food is typically less desirable than Prison food, which respectively isn’t saying much :)
    • OH WAIT, YOU’RE VEGAN. Yea. People often say, “It must be hard being vegan” Yes. Yes it is. Back home it isn’t, but in a warzone it’s HELL!
  • Everyone has guns.   Well, it’s true, everyone does, let’s add that we’re surrounded by huge walls with barbed wire. Except we’re trying to keep people OUT not in, per se. ;)
  • I live at an airport basically, though I never get to go anywhere! … And unless I’m going home, not really too much of a fan of traveling throughout the country!
  • Everybody loves shared showers! Just don’t let your skin touch any exposed surface. Seriously.

So you know, it’s not so bad!   And all, right?!

I mean, it’s not like my life is in constant jeopardy or that on numerous occasions rockets have not blown up within 100 feet of me. …………

So for those of you who wonder what the warzone is like, and the respective lessons learned you can apply to your own life…

  • It can be LOUD here. I own a pair of Klipsch X10i headphones. I tend to miss most rockets I cannot directly FEEL because of how well it buffers the sound.   Also if you happen to travel these are beyond invaluable, hell if it can block out the noise of flying inside of a C130, know it handles QUITE well on domestic or international travel.  FYI I have worn these headphones for about 235 of the 250 days, while I sleep.
  • If you see something out of the ordinary, say something about it.   This applies to the world in general.  If something or someone looks suspicious don’t let it slide; Don’t be paranoid but also be realistic…
  • Do your due diligence and don’t take overt chances.   I’m a risk taker as much as the next guy (Psst… Did you hear I’m in fracking AFGHANISTAN) but I wouldn’t go so far as to play around life explosives or put myself in a position to receive real harm if I can control it.
  • Smog is nasty, but a microscopic dust which enters into your lungs and you breathe it everywhere, that’s not so great.
  • Do not walk behind a blackwater truck, or hell, near one if you can help it
    • Blackwater trucks clean out portapotties, and emit a highly refined spray of feces into the air, it’s the original eau de toilette…

The list can clearly go on, but I need to sleep soon so I wish you all well in your respective places in the world.   I wish you good will, good life and be safe.

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Posted in Afghanistan | Comments (2)

  • gyrfalcon says:

    No lessons about plugging computers into 400hz generators? :)

  • I do my best to never plug anything into a generator!

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