Sunday, 19th April
So I made it safely to Bagram Air Base (BAF), the biggest US/Coalition military facility in Afghanistan. The trip from Kabul was relatively uneventful punctuated only by the numbers of potholes in the road. Yet I was a little too tense to actually fall asleep during the ride, like I normally do when I ride in a vehicle.
We drove into Bagram under the watchful eyes of the Afghan Army. Helicopters and other jets were flying overhead while the odd armored vehicles patrolled the streets. Stepping into BAF was like going into another world. Military and other support vehicles ruled the roads while rifle toting men and women moved around. After being assigned a bunk my first act was to check out the PX. Ha! Shopping paradise! Ok, you can't really get EVERYTHING here but what was there served their purpose. It was like being in a small slice of America and 'Wal-Mart' was the biggest place to shop except that it's staff by Americans, Pakistanis, Afghans, Nepalese, Tajiks and it's tax-free. Oh! by the way, most of the shoppers are armed.
There's a barber, tailor, sports store, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen and a little American style diner. Well, you get the drift... One thing for sure, people are very well-fed on the base and if I had to stay here for my entire embed I would probably come back weighing more than when I left!
Monday, 20th April
It's 7.30 p.m. and we were finally told that the flight to our assigned base would be happening tomorrow morning and to be ready by 3.30 a.m. with our kit, body armor and helmet. That's going to be an interesting flight...