ABSENT IN AFGHANISTAN

In no particular order, here is a list of ten things that sound a bit heavenly  now that I am finally counting down the days!
1.  Mexican and Margaritas with bestie and kids (obviously no margs for the kids).   A few days ago, we found some boozy candy at a shop and did a chocolate challenge to see if we could get a bit drunk or sick first.  The pink box and the pretty wrappers should not fool you, they were not very delicious and the margarita flavor was especially disgusting… it really doesn’t go well with chocolate.
candy booze
2.  Sleeping in and sleeping in my own bed
3.  Seeing my family, friends, house and the bright colorful world.  Here everything is sand colored and all the vehicles used to be white, but they are really just dirty.  It is very dull to the senses and uninspiring.
4.  Not wearing shoes in the shower or being scared of the slimy shower curtain monster
5.  Wearing heels and a dress!   There are a few stories about this, but this one from today starts out with a new boss worrying about me (as the only girl) because of some rumors of rape on this base.  He was comforted by the fact that I never go anywhere by myself.  When they told me about it, I joked and said I don’t know how to drive (manual), or ride a bike and I’m too lazy to walk in the heat.  Some people were very surprised that I couldn’t ride a bike, because apparently most people can.  However another co-worker announced that I used to figure skate so I should be terribly coordinated.  I then received an expression of absolute shock with the exclamation… “I can’t see you as a figure skater, it’s so girly!”  Thanks everyone, but… I am a girl and I do LOVE dresses, I just didn’t bring them with me to Afghanistan… shocking isn’t it?  I must need a make-over more than I thought, which leads to my next point…
6.  Getting pampered… my hair cut and colored, a mani/pedi and a massage.  I gave up being extraordinarily vain and plucking the gray hairs out a few months ago and my hair has grown quite a bit with no hair cut since I arrived.  Don’t worry there is an appointment on the books for the day I get home and a normal amount of vanity will resume.
7.  Availability of food variety, grocery stores, and the option to prepare your own meal.  Of course it is a bit of a luxury to get free hot meals served everyday, I am a terribly picky eater and usually go with cereal for breakfast and grilled cheese, cucumbers and orange jello for lunch.  I could do with a bit of variety in my diet.  I am looking forward to cooking again and even grocery shopping, which I normally avoid like the plague.  The two biggest luxuries as far as foods go here (in my opinion) are… pralines and cream ice cream and bananas.  I only had bananas once — but I did have four that day.  It’s strange the foods that are a rare delight here.  Pralines on the other hand can always turn a crap day into a good one.
8.  Privacy… not working with, eating with, driving to work with the same people everyday… 12 hours a day for six months of the year
9.  Driving… I have not driven in six months because I can’t drive a manual and it will be so nice not to depend on other people to cart me around.
10.  Temperatures under 100 degrees!  Even though I expect to need a sweater everywhere I go because of the sudden change.

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