I haven’t written for a while because I’ve been lazy. A lot has happened in the month and a half since my last entry. I’ll try my best to fill you in. Another one of our boys (Sapper Jamie Larcombe) was killed on the 20th of February, this time from small arms fire. We lined the ramp ceremony and again an Aslav took the body to an awaiting RAAF Aircraft. He was from the same unit as Corporal Richard Atkinson, and while it’s terrible that we lost another solider, it’s kind of comforting that at least he’s with a mate.
My last days in TK were a little sad, all my mates were excited about going home and I was leaving them early on a new adventure. Don’t get me wrong, I am really excited about staying and glad I have been given the opportunity to do so, it’s just that I’ve been with these guys for 6 months. Smokey left early to play being a dad for the second time and with voice overs from the boys I made him a going away video with voice overs on a really poor 80’s action flick. By leaving early I did however miss a visit from Kevin Rudd, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in SOCOMD who voted for him, a fact that Bathy kept secret for me. Before I left I did manage to break someone’s air-conditioning, just in time for summer. They had iced up and we were told to turn our air-conditioning off until the ice melted. That logic didn’t make sense to me seen as though we had them on heat, so I went around the side to investigate. I couldn’t reach my unit but found someone else’s covered in ice. I gave it a kick to dislodge the ice and it fell into the fan making a deafening sound. No one saw me directly but I had to get out of the area quickly, so I walked swiftly and with purpose back to room. It was still loud in my room and I was getting nervous, some of the guys from the building next door had seen me escape the scene just after the loud noise started. My shift was soon to start so I again walked swiftly past the witnesses with the loud noise continuing. Suddenly, when I was just in front of the witnesses, there was a loud crack and the noise disappeared. I continued as if nothing had happened but their eyes followed me to the brew point. Their stares burned so I left with a half made coffee to the safety of the commcen. Nothing as yet has come of my adventure with the air-conditioning.
Now that I’m in KAF things have slowed down, the job here is very low tempo and I’m working with some really good people (they don’t wake me up to move dirt like Jack-arse Brett would). My bosses are also interested in my input. I felt under utilised in TK and it’s nice to know that these kinds of people and this kind of work exists in SOCOMD. I’ve even started studying full time while I’m here and I have the time because I do constant night shift (which basically involves watching movies and surfing the Internet). KAF has a lot more going on too, most nights I head down to the NAFFI with Matty to get coffees, Triva and BBQs are common (I’ve gotten pretty good at the movie trivia :) ), and I even got to see Tom Green preform live as part of the Canadian Tour de Force show. There is a ridiculous amount of shopping here, cafes, gyms and apart from the occasional IDF attack and the risk of being raped, it actually feels quite normal. To give you an idea of the war I am fighting, there are 5 mains messes (We’ve been trying out a few different ones to mix it up), many other smaller ones, at least 6 cafes (the French PX is the best but I spend most time at the British one, it kind of feels more like home with their accents plus it’s closest), 3 restaurants (don’t expect much from a steak in the Gahn, rare apparently means cold), half a dozen fast food joints (including KFC), over a dozen gyms, and dozens of stores selling everything you could possibly want. All this while earning some decent cash. I was talking to some of the American soldiers who do the same job as me and as an Australian soldier, I earn more in 4 months than they earn in 12. I didn’t let him know that.
I’m in a nice routine now, the omelette guy makes me breakfast (He still remembers my order and I think that I’d prefer to have a usual then have variety and risk not feeling like a local), sleep for a few hours, PT (sometimes, I’ve been a bit lazy of late and I’ve got the studying full time excuse that I only use for PT not for Coffee breaks), then maybe a few odd jobs, followed by 8 hours of “work” (which I’m doing right now :) ).