When I left Baghdad for R and R I thought things were getting a little hot. Temperature wise I mean. We had a few days over 100 degrees, which is quite formidable when you are facing walking around all afternoon in nearly 60lbs of gear. I think that those afternoons were just a polite appetizer for things to come, in a place where the mercury can reach over 130 degrees.
Flying back into Kuwait I wasn’t particularly motivated to head back to Iraq to face another six months away from my wife, family, and friends. Six straight months without a single day off. As our plane touched down in the early evening darkness it would be safe to say my mood was not exactly jubilant. My gloomy attitude was hit with a wake up call, the pilot welcomed us to Kuwait, “Welcome to Kuwait International Airport where the local time is 2038 and the current temperature is 108.”
“Surely you jest,” I thought to myself. The sun was already down, it might have reached 110 during the day but things are supposed to cool off in the evening, thats the way it works right? Wrong, I was greeted by a furnace blast of hot air as I stepped off the airplane into the darkness. A combination between an enormous blow dryer and an oven. A steady wind blew the hot air over our skin sucking up any moisture instantly, it was the sort of heat which you think must go away in about two minutes because it is simply too hot to be realistic. It didn’t go away, the next day around noon it intensified with the brilliant middle eastern sun searching for anything it might scorch. All I could do is grin and bear it and think, “welcome back to the middle east, its going to be quite the summer.”