Monday, December 6, 2010

Death by PowerPoint - (Korea) Day 6

Last night I knew I had to get up and be in formation at 5:50 AM. I had a wonderful plan all set. I went to sleep at 9:00 PM and had my alarm set for 5:00 AM giving me plenty of time to get ready. I had my headphones in playing white noise and I had my beanie pulled over my eyes. Everything was going swell until about an hour into going to sleep all of a sudden the light flips on and people are talking very loud and even bumping my bed. WTF? Surprise we just got two new roommates! They had to pack all their stuff in their lockers, make their bed and then get changed to go to sleep. I know it's not their fault that they came in late, but they were noisy as hell. There were also people going up and down the hall making all kinds of noise. Grrrrrr. So much for my plans. After what seemed like forever they finally turned off the light and went to sleep.

This morning I tested the water and we still do not have any hot water in the barracks. No shower for me this morning I guess. I'll have to do a quick one tonight washing all the essential areas as quickly as possible. We were bussed to the DFAC and I ate my first meal there since arriving here. I can tell you that this is the worst DFAC I've ever had in my limited experience so far. The place seemed dirty and the food was barely edible. I wasn't missing much not eating there. So far I've ended up buying every meal I've had here, but I'll have to change that soon. Once I get settled into a place I plan on eating primarily DFAC food.

Today was a day of briefings. We had briefings on sexual assault, sexual harassment, religious services, and housing. Why those of us that will be living in bachelors quarters had to sit through a housing brief I have no idea. We were also given more inspectable items. This means they are part of our uniform while we are here in Korea. I have to carry around a SOFA card (you show this to Korean police if you ever get into trouble and they call the MPs). I also have to carry around a couple of other cards in case I get sexually assaulted.

We had a break for lunch (Pizza Hut), then back to more briefings. This time there were so many that they ended up being kind of a blur. A briefer would come up and and do their thing. As soon as they were done they would tag team the next person and so on. It was literally one after the other. From what I can remember we had the "How to stay out trouble brief", JAG, finance, family assistance, other family programs, domestic abuse, child abuse…and more. The day of briefs ended with the substance abuse brief. This one was actually kind of interesting because we heard a few stories of when people had a little too much to drink here in Korea and what happened to them. We also saw a lot of funny pictures and a video of drunk people (the kind that circulate the internet and failblog). This had everyone laughing, but it was to drive home a point that soldiers need to know when they have had enough to drink. She ended it on a very gross note that I have to share because it was that bad. She said that anything that alters the mind of a soldier is against the rules and we can be punished for it. Then she gave an example of what they have found some soldiers doing. I guess it's called the "juice box" or something like that. A soldier will poop and pee in a bottle and seal it. They will let it ferment for a while and then capture the gases it creates in a balloon. When they inhale the contents of the balloon they get a high from it. Very gross! We were told that is against the substance abuse rules because it altered their minds (got them high) even though they weren't using illegal drugs to do it. No worries lady, I will not be doing anything remotely close to that! We were then dismissed for the day.

Right before we were allowed to leave though a sergeant said that everyone in area II will need to be packed and ready to go tomorrow. I asked him if he could check where I was because my "pinpoint orders" didn't have an area on them. After checking he said I was in area II. Finally I have at least a little more of an idea where I'll be. I still have no idea what unit I'll be with, but now I'm assuming I'll stay here at Yongsan. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

I found my wife was still awake, so I spoke with her a bit on Skype using the food court's free WiFi. Now I have to go pack my bags for tomorrow's move.

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