Today was a good day. My roommates, SGT G-beer and SFC Monty and I, along with SGT Graywarz, went to Freedom Rest. It is a recreation facility here at VBC. A pool, day rooms, a place to relax and kick back. You can stay the night if you are in pass status. We borrowed CPT Z's Trailblazer and drove over.
We slathered on the SP30 and sat by the pool, watching tattooed Joes play volleyball and grabass. The pool is just across the canal from General Odinaro's chopper pad, and we watched a couple of Blackhawks come in and land, and GEN O and assorted aides get out. He is tall and bald, hook nosed and hawk-eyed; and once you've seen him, you can't mistake him for anyone else.
We sat around and bullshitted for awhile. I swam a little, I read my Kindle and listened to my iPod and just took it easy for an afternoon.
When we were leaving, we saw two third country nationals (TCNs) raking moss out of the lake. The pool is right on the lake. They were doing the same thing when we arrived, dressed in blue coveralls, faces wrapped in scarves, yellow hard hats, balancing in a rickety boat, raking moss in a wet brown pile in the bottom of the boat. I don't know why they are doing this, but you see them all over, in the canals and lakes, raking up seaweed and moss. They were staring at all the soldiers, male and females who were laughing and splashing and playing in the cool blue water of the pool while they toiled away.
"I bet they hate Americans," I said.
"I was just thinking that," Said SFC Monty.
"Nobody put a gun to y'alls heads," I informed them, though they were too far away to hear.
Afterwards, we got something to eat at an Iraqi restaurant. Graywarz wanted to order one chicken dish, but the waiter informed him that this particular dish "was good for Iraqi, not for American." He opted for a different dish.
Later, we sat and talked, drinking tiny glasses of very hot, very sweet tea. We talked about the girls we love and the pros and cons of various dog breeds and I showed them the scar on the back of my left hand from Alex, and we quoted O Brother Where Art Thou and The Big Lebowski, and later we went to the Liberty PX. A good day, a nice low key day. I've got a strip of red skin down my right triceps where I missed it with the sunscreen.