In this second and final installment covering my time in Kuwait, I was prepared to expound on many interesting and curious things both military and Kuwaiti. I was prepared to tell you about one training range, essentially a shooting facility and driving course carved out of sand dunes, where the temperature last year beat anything ever measured in Death Valley, CA, making it the hottest place on earth. (Thankfully I spent time there during the relatively cool Kuwaiti "spring.") I was prepared to tell you about the USO installation here where you are required to remove your boots to enter, leaving the Navy folk to dread the arrival of any new Marine battalion as that ensured the facility would produce the funk of 1000 soiled sweat socks.
I wanted to comment on the Bollywood Laundry run by third-country nationals blasting Indian pop; and the two-day sandstorm that delayed our training and had my colleagues agonizing over the consequent delay in shipping them to the war zone called Baghdad. I wanted to write about the innumerable, odd concrete structures that I discovered, on my own, to be mortar shelters; and the thousands and thousands of Jersey barriers that barricade and direct and restrict and cordon the movement of Humvees and trucks and people.
But I'm in a foul mood and not eager to address any of those topics as I had to depart for Afghanistan and missed my chance to attend the most exciting event to hit Kuwait since Sadam's invasion: the Jessica Simpson and Pussycat Dolls concert, sponsored by My Space. Jessica and the girls took the stage in "Kuwait Rock City" March 10, one day after I left the country. I've been unable to find much news on the event (perhaps Google Afghanistan blocks searches for such debauchery) as the popular press seems to have given it little attention and, ironically, the military restricts access to the MySpace website.
I did read that Jessica actually planned to sleep in a military tent, eat military meals, and spend only as much time as absolutely necessary with her traveling hairstylist. The Pussycat Dolls themselves, in a pre-concert interview, warned "the desert's about to get a lot hotter." Damn my luck!
The MySpace Kuwait Rock City event also featured comedian Carlos Mencia and a hip-hop singer and a couple of rock bands, but you didn't sense much excitement on base for these side acts. Everyone was anticipating the arrival of Jessica and the Dolls in-country