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Thread: Trip to Qatar

  1. #16
    Senior Member cancidas's Avatar
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    Re: Trip to Qatar

    ah, tent live. never really got used to that, though the conditions were significantly better that the WO housing at base.
    it is mathematically impossible for either hummingbirds, or helicopters to fly. fortunately, neither are aware of this.

  2. #17
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Re: Trip to Qatar

    Well, my trip to Qatar was much different than my other usual work flights.

    I've been through Qatar about half a dozen times. But I'm usually there for 3 hours to offload, onload and get out.

    This time, however, we took a delay that required we stick around for a little over a day. This meant we have to in-process and get rest...on the base, in a tent. I was pretty bummed about taking a delay, but once it was time to leave the plane and get onto the base, I was the only member of the crew that was excited.

    Myself and my crew spent several hours processing in through Qatari customs and working our way to the lodging area. I actually went in separate from my crew, so I was all alone during this. Getting assigned to a tent, picking up your linens, learning where things were, very fun.

    The tents are big canvas structures that look like an oil drum was cut vertically down the middle then laid on its side. Mine had 18 bunk beds for 36 people. My crew had one all to ourselves, and there were only 8 of us. I was the only one who took a top bunk.

    The tent was also air conditioned VERY well. It was 120+ degrees outside, and it was mid-60s inside.

    The bathrooms and showers were in trailers a little over 100 feet away. There were sidewalks that connected, but they weren't always convenient, so you walked int he sand/rocks much of the time. The bathrooms and showers were VERY clean and nice.

    The food was even better. Before I went to eat, I asked an airman if the food was good. He said no. He's wrong. It confused me because there was every single kind of breakfast food you could ask for. Better selection than any diner. It was also free and unlimited. Pile on the eggs, choose from dozens of kinds of cereals, juices, milks, pastries, snacks, everything.

    I was very friendly and social with all the people. It was forced anyway, for two reasons. First, I was the only one on the base with facial hair...much less the shaggy beard that I'd grown the previous days. Second, I had a ****-eating grin the whole time. I was asked if I was ok on several occasions.

    As for the heat, yes, it was hot. It was in the 90s at night, and it felt ok, but about 30 minutes after the sun came up....you were right back to cookin yourself.

    The heat wasn't so bad as the BRIGHTNESS was. the ground was so light and the sun so harsh that the light was bounce right up into your eyes. I'd never experienced anything like that before. If you didn't have sunglasses, you were in pain. In fact, the only way you could get by was to walk with one eye completely closed and the other one squinting. This way, once you got inside, the eye that was closed can be opened, and it doesn't have to adjust to entering an obviously much darker indoors area. Otherwise, your entire eye has one big sun spot that prevents you from seeing ANYTHING for several minutes when coming in from outside. Imagine the work your rods and cones are putting in when going from a dark tent after waking up to practically looking dead-on into a spotlight.

    I didn't bring my sunglasses, and I only got by using the one eye closed method, while also keeping the other eye closed for 5 seconds at a time....planning where I'd walk and hoping I don't trip while both eyes were shut. Some parts of the base had roads, which were paved black. Where I could, I'd walk in the middle of the blacktop and look down at it.....as the light didn't bounce up from it.

    They gave me hats, t-shirts and all kinds of stuff that I'll certainly cherish forever. When I think about our crew being upset that they were staying in a tent, it made me sad. So many people say "Support the troops," but wouldn't be willing to live a day in their shoes....even though their accommodations here are pretty good.

    It was a great experience, and I met many great people there.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  3. #18
    Senior Member Tom_Turner's Avatar
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    Re: Trip to Qatar

    Phil -

    Best trip report I've read in a long time...

    Tom
    "Keep 'em Flying"

  4. #19
    Moderator mirrodie's Avatar
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    Re: Trip to Qatar

    Phil, you need some polaroid sunglasses ;) What your eyes were experienceing were bleached retinas. Your photoceptors were overcome by so much entering light that it just seemed like you were walking out of a movie theater on a sunny day but with the effect lasting forever! Those rods and cones need time to rejuvenate.

    I loved your trip report. Those are memories you will never forget.
    And I, I took the path less traveled by
    and that has made all the difference......yet...
    I have a feeling a handle of people are going to be very interested in what I post in the near future.

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=187

  5. #20
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Re: Trip to Qatar

    Thank you, Tom. Glad you enjoyed it that much. :)
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  6. #21
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    Re: Trip to Qatar

    Jeez.... Nobody brought me breakfast while I was Stateside taking care of this said "delay"
    You're Never Too Young To Be A Dirty Old Man

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