Day 29: homecoming rituals
Today was our final day in the MEAO (Middle East Area of Operations) - tomorrow we start the trek home on a chartered A340.
One of the homecoming rituals is sorting through your kit and cleaning off the dust of Afghanistan. The laundry whirs as people wash and scrub everything so that it will pass the quarantine inspection. Some boots are too down-trodden to be taken home.
Day 25 - Spooks
Day 23: 1971
Day 26 - Battle watch
We had a few spare hours before our flight departed Bahrain today, so G3 and I went to an old fort. I was particularly pleased to get away from our accommodation, as I felt like I was under house-arrest. Not being able to leave the house without a male escort was stifling (see day 24).
Day 24: Bahrain
We arrived in Bahrain today. This is my third country and my fourth currency (Emirati Dirham, Euros on the ISAF base in Kabul, US dollars on the multinational base in Tarin Kot and Bahraini Dinar) - I think it’s time for the Arab equivalent of the Euro.
Day 22: Uniform(ity)
Thank you to everyone who submitted their guess for this week. As promised, here is the answer:
It is a button hook – a popular and necessary item between the 1890s and 1920s, used to pull buttons through buttonholes. They were particularly useful when the garment or footwear was tough and unyielding.
Day 20: Easter without eggs
It's Easter Sunday and I am feeling deprived because I have NO chocolate eggs to eat. When we went to the European DFAC (Dining FACility) for brekky, I consoled myself with a croissant dipped in hot chocolate.
Day 21: up, up and away
Today we said goodbye to the magnificent mountains of Kabul and flew back to AMAB (Al Minhad Air Base). We were supposed to be going to Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, but the flight was cancelled. I was a bit disappointed not to visit Kandahar, once the capital of Afghanistan and now the second largest city, but not much. If you’ve seen Ben Quilty’s painting of Kandahar, you’ll know why.