Location Alpha, Somewhere in the Arabian Desert – I’ve finally reached the Arabian Desert. The summer temperatures here averaged over 130 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. I used to think Florida was friggin’ hot. They’ve got it easy.
On particularly hot days, I swear I could feel my boot starting to slowly melt and stick to the ground.
Oh… sunglasses are a must in this desert. Most of the indigenous people have cataracts and are partially blind because of heavy sun exposure. Yet, they still are allowed to drive cars into military check points.
One late afternoon, I was walking to my tent, and a really bad sandstorm blew through the camp. It was my first full force sandstorm. I’ve been through some harsh wind and sand, but this was different. The blast of sand was so thick that the evening twilight sun was blacked out. Everything suddenly went dark, and grains of sand pelted my whole body. I could only see the first few inches in front of me. I stumbled from tent to tent. My vision was worthless. I tried to remember how far my tent was from my position current position.
I was lucky enough to bump into my friend from the Public Affairs Office (PAO). We were staying in the same tent, and he was standing just outside of the entrance. The crazy bastard was trying to take photographs in the sandstorm. I told him that it was useless, but my warning was an epic failure. As I opened my mouth to yell at him, sand quickly began to fly into my mouth and fill it. I gave up and fought my way into the tent. I finally removed my sand covered sunglasses and found my body covered in sand from head to toe. Sand filled every crack and crevice in my clothing. I began a rapid fire barrage of spitting to get all the sand out of my mouth. I removed my clothes to shake off all the sand trapped in them. The PAO officer finally gave up his pursuit of a sandstorm picture and returned to the tent. I spent the rest of the night in the tent.
Regarding the Manga and Anime availability, it was pretty bad. The PX (Post Exchange) is even smaller than the one near Roswell. They had only two manga titles. One was Death Note (デスノート), and the other one was Vagabond (バガボンド). I couldn’t find much anime here. However, I did find a single issue of Otaku USA. The shrink wrap was already opened, and it looked like someone already flipped through it. I bought it anyway. Slim Pickens. Hey, beggars can’t be choosers.