Chowing Down at Al Asad
Sleeping quarters turned out to be open bay tents with skinny, black steel children's sized bunks that looked like they came from Ikea. We dumped our gear and had the soldiers who arrived earlier in the month escort us to the chow hall.
The quantity and variety of food was astounding, definitely the best chow most of us have seen in the military. Still, there were some oddities.
For example, milk comes in individual boxes, like the juice boxes that kids carry to school in their lunch bags. It requires no refrigeration. Coke and Pepsi come cans with the old style pull tabs last seen in the U.S. on a mass scale in the 70's. The cans have both English and Arabic versions of their logos, a bit bizarre. As for water, it's bottled. Tap water is not potable.
After gorging ourselves on the breakfast menu, we returned to our new homes where succumbed to jet lag, sleeping all day long and waking in time for dinner.
Again, we trekked to the chow hall to discover more opportunity for overindulgence. At least once a week, there is a surf and turf dinner of steak and lobster tails -- admittedly tough and well done, but still pretty exceptional for insitutional food. There is even Baskin-Robins ice cream, though available in fewer flavors than the standard 31. It's not like Mom's cooking, but we're eating well.
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