Saturday, November 27, 2010

Out and About in N2KL

Your intrepid correspondent has been on a whirlwind tour of Eastern Afghanistan, the provinces of Nuristan, Nangarhar, Kunar, and Laghman - or N2KL for short. At several different Forward Operating Bases (FOBs), your correspondent was treated to VIP accommodations. At FOB Fenty, at Jalalabad Air Field, we had the pleasure of staying in two different "hotel" rooms on different evenings. These guest accommodations are really quite fabulous in that you get a plywood box all to your self, which is not something everyone gets. So we shouldn't make fun. But it must be pointed out that these austere but still relatively luxurious rooms might be better left unadorned. Instead, each room features a striking diagonal arrangement of three pictures of the military in action - such as airlifting supplies or training Afghan soldiers... or changing a tire... or standing around a volleyball court.

That was a little silly, but more comfortable than the truly bizarre lodging at FOB Connolly, which is inside an old Afghan brick building, sectioned into multiple rooms with plywood, and featuring crib-like wrought-iron beds and the most aggressively patterned mattresses and pillows you can imagine. Again, I shouldn't complain -- the soldiers are putting up with a lot worse than ugly pillows. But I feel like I have a journalistic duty to let you know about these little details.

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