Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Welcome to Kuwait

Hurry up and wait - that's the motto of the US Army.
After being awake for over 36 hours, and suffering through an unplanned 7-hour delay for the plane, we finally boarded our flight for Kuwait. Including stops and time changes, it took us 24 hours to arrive. We landed in Kuwaiti City just as the sun was setting. A sunset in the desert is unlike any other. If you've seen the sunset over the ocean, you know the color of the sun; the difference here is that the sand in the air spreads the orange from one end of the sky to the other as the sun quickly slips below the horizon.

We boarded a line of buses an hour or so after sunset, and settled in for the long drive out to one of the military staging camps in the desert. I watched as civilian cars scattered in the path of the buses; some going off the road and stopping until the convoy passed, others driving the wrong way into traffic so as not to be delayed. Traffic rules are different here. The biggest vehicle owns the road. Another driver cut into the middle of our group from a side road, and was quickly ferreted out by our armed escort. A little further on, we passed a vehicle boxed in on the side of the road by two Kuwaiti police trucks, lights flashing. Back home, you might assume it was a felony stop after a bit of a chase. Here, it's normal. Even so, you can't help but be a little bit wary. There has been next to no action here since the Iraqi army stormed through 15 years ago, but you always remember that you're right in the middle of the Middle East.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous23/9/06 19:54

    I'll be checking your site'll be good to have a way to stay in touch.

    Thinking of you...