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davjohns

Heading to Belgium!

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2 years or 104 weekends!



That's the same amount of time I have left in Turkey!

(note to self: schedule vacation in Belgium)



you'd better get your sorry arse to beautiful switzerland.. just sayin'! ;)
“Some may never live, but the crazy never die.”
-Hunter S. Thompson
"No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try."
-Yoda

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2 years or 104 weekends!



That's the same amount of time I have left in Turkey!

(note to self: schedule vacation in Belgium)



you'd better get your sorry beautiful arse to beautiful sorry switzerland.. just sayin'! ;)



FIFY!

:)
See the upside, and always wear your parachute! -- Christopher Titus

Shut Up & Jump!

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I'll check that out. Meanwhile, here is what I sent home today:

When we last saw Spaceman Spiff, he was leaving Planet Iraq to return to Earth...or something like that.

Actually, I note that Iraq has thrown us out of the country since I left. I maintain this is because nobody could compare to me and, in a fit of despair, they refused to have any Americans if they could not have me. That's my story. Unless you can prove otherwise, you'll have to go with it. :-) I stopped writing chronicles of my adventures when I returned from Iraq. I wrote most weeks, then, to a list of people to tell them what was going on. Now seems an appropriate time to begin again. And since I have no Watson to keep the chronicles, I am on my own.

So, my new assignment to NATO in Belgium has been interesting. I left the US last Tuesday. There was a tearful farewell with my beautiful wife, dear mother, steadfast father and newly returned/retired brother. I went through security...and they went through my bag. I went through security again...they went through my bag again. So, that's where I left my favorite knife. And I got to the gate just in time!...to see them lock the aircraft door. And the United agent was kinda surly; and asked me if Europe was East or West of Huntsville so he could re-book me. I concluded United was a bunch of morons. And their system was down, so they couldn't re-book me. And Delta told me United was a bunch of morons and they couldn't re-book me either because United showed me on an airplane. And United couldn't change that; because their system was down. And SATO travel told me United was a bunch of morons. And they couldn't re-book me either. And the other United guy at the desk was surly. I saw a pattern developing...

But, after a lovely dinner with my beautiful wife and our darling Little Zachary, I successfully negotiated security and the United morons and got underway to Europe. I made my connection in DC without a hitch and boarded the next plane. And then, a hairy Indian gentleman sat next to me. And he seemed to think the armrest was his. After a moment of his hairy arms and body odor, he was right. And he thought his English was excellent. He was wrong. And his headphone jack was out, so he thought we should talk all the way to Europe. He was wrong again.

But, we arrived in Frankfurt on time. I had an hour layover, so there was no rush. Except Frankfurt doesn't let international flights come to the terminal. Everyone has to get on a bus and ride around the airport. And a 777 takes a while to de-plane. And the buses are slow and meandering. And it wasn't really the terminal they took us to. And we had to go up several flights of stairs to stand in line for the surly German to sneer at our passports. And then we had to leave the airport. And then back through security. And down several flights of stairs. And take a tram to the terminal. And I arrived just in time!...to see my plane leave without me. So, I got to spend the next hour in the Lufthansa line with a lovely English couple who missed the same plane I did. The Lufthansa agent wasn't surly. He said United had already re-booked me...for the wrong flight. He told me the United people were morons. (If you are keeping count, that's three industry professionals and me that have voted for United to leave the island). He told me my bag was in Frankfurt and he would make sure it arrived with me. He re-booked me. I couldn't let my sponsor know that I was now later than ever to meet him in Brussels. I was originally supposed to be there at 9:30am Wednesday; then 2:00pm; then 4:30pm. My plane touched down at 5:00pm. I watched the luggage conveyor belt spit out bags. I watched everyone get their bags. I watched the conveyor belt shut off. What I didn't watch was my bag coming out. I went to baggage claim and spent the next hour in line with nobody who spoke a language I recognized. My bag was there. It came in at 9:30am. The Lufthansa guy was a moron.

So, with a 50lb duffle bag and equally weighted backpack over my shoulders, I set out in search of my sponsor. He was gone. He had waited for hours and had no contact from me. He emailed and left a message at my hotel, but we never thought for him to give me his cell number. I found the taxi stand. They didn't speak English. They didn't know where Chievres Air Force Base was. I called the hotel and got the GPS coordinates. I found a cab that would take US Dollars. $290 and an exasperated cabbie later, I was in my hotel room. I emailed and called everyone and let them know that I had negotiated the obstacle course between me and my hotel in the middle of Europe successfully.

The next day was just about perfect. My sponsor picked me up at the hotel and got me started on my in-processing. I got half way through my list of stops on the first day. I get 30 days to do this. But that includes finding a place to live and other things that are just slow. But I was off to a wonderful start. My sponsor's wife had very thoughtfully put food in my hotel room, so I was able to eat that first night and then some. Jet lag hit me Friday and I spent the day recovering. My sponsor and his family took me to Brussels Saturday. It is a gorgeous city. I posted a few pictures on Facebook. This week, I have continued going through the red tape of reporting to Europe. I will give some anecdotes about that, my encounters with locals and impressions of Belgium in my next email.

David
(Not really Spaceman Spiff. That's a Calvin and Hobbs thing.)
I know it just wouldnt be right to kill all the stupid people that we meet..

But do you think it would be appropriate to just remove all of the warning labels and let nature take its course.

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Yup. Good thing, too. Apparently this trip overseas is going to end in divorce just like the last one. What is it with women that they can't last a couple of weeks before they start looking around? Eh. I'm just pissed right now. I'm not really looking for a response.

dwj
I know it just wouldnt be right to kill all the stupid people that we meet..

But do you think it would be appropriate to just remove all of the warning labels and let nature take its course.

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Yup. Good thing, too. Apparently this trip overseas is going to end in divorce just like the last one. What is it with women that they can't last a couple of weeks before they start looking around? Eh. I'm just pissed right now. I'm not really looking for a response.

dwj



I'm sorry your wife is having trouble handling this separation. That's got to suck when you're adjusting to a new situation and being away from home.

However, painting "all women" with the same brush doesn't really make you look like the winner here. [:/]
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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Thanks for thinking about me. Don't worry. Nothing to do but hang in there. Life goes on. Or, as they say here, "C'est la vie".
I know it just wouldnt be right to kill all the stupid people that we meet..

But do you think it would be appropriate to just remove all of the warning labels and let nature take its course.

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Fair point and please don't take it personally. My sample pool hasn't done very well. That doesn't mean it is a representative sample....better? :D
I know it just wouldnt be right to kill all the stupid people that we meet..

But do you think it would be appropriate to just remove all of the warning labels and let nature take its course.

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I knew what you meant and I know you were angry when you posted that but still, a good point to make. We're (women) definitely not all the same though. Personally, I need my space and would see a separation by distance to be unfortunate but it allows both people to continue to grow and provides opportunities for fun trips. We might be perfect for each other; some of my serious relationships haven't worked out because I DIDN'T want to be together constantly! :)

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So...102 weekends left in Europe. I spent the first weekend touring Brussels. Second weekend, I had to go to the obligatory (not really) SHAPE Fest where all 29 NATO countries served their country's traditional fare, dressed up, etc. Also drove through the scenic countryside and had dinner with a co-worker's family. My Jeep is now in my possession and my birthday is this week. I'm trying to decide how this next weekend should go. My gear isn't here yet, so skydiving is probably out. Paris (2.5 hours)? London (4 hours)? Dusseldorf (2.5 hours)? Something else?

Decisions, decisions. :D
I know it just wouldnt be right to kill all the stupid people that we meet..

But do you think it would be appropriate to just remove all of the warning labels and let nature take its course.

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How sad is that - now you're here in W-Europe and the weather is really *merde*. >:(

Try to see the fine side:

Come to see my lovely hometown Cologne - abt. 2 hrs by car and you will enjoy it! Forget about Duesseldorf, it's a boring place. :ph34r:

In case you prefer much more to taste our world-famous beer (the best in the world), leave your car behind and take a train :P

You need some more info? Just let me know.

:)

dudeist skydiver # 3105

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In case you prefer much more to taste our world-famous beer (the best in the world),



Most people in Belgium (and a few of us outside of it lol) wouldn't agree with you ;)



I know that :P but, I'm still sure it just needs a serious test :)



And there is nothing like empirical testing! :ph34r:
Remster

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In case you prefer much more to taste our world-famous beer (the best in the world),



Most people in Belgium (and a few of us outside of it lol) wouldn't agree with you ;)



I know that :P but, I'm still sure it just needs a serious test :)



And there is nothing like empirical testing! :ph34r:



Yep. Long-term test. To be done in the fine "Brauhaus" just in front of our cathedral, approved by the church B| If that's not serious ..... :)

dudeist skydiver # 3105

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I haven't figured out the train system, yet. I want to use it. I just don't know how. I haven't even found the local station. I might try this weekend.

And you consider this bad weather? It has been lovely since I got here. It rained one day. Other than that, it has been sunny and 60's to 70's (F). I've loved it.
I know it just wouldnt be right to kill all the stupid people that we meet..

But do you think it would be appropriate to just remove all of the warning labels and let nature take its course.

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In case you prefer much more to taste our world-famous beer (the best in the world),



Most people in Belgium (and a few of us outside of it lol) wouldn't agree with you ;)

Remster, you really don't understand German humour...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QXNtNRYpyY
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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