Thursday, February 19, 2009

The waiting is the hardest part

After I wrote yesterday about perhaps not posting 'The waiting is the hardest part', I got lots of comments like 'Oh, please, post it! You write so beautifully, we desperately want to read anything you write; please don't torture us with this deprivation one second longer!' Well, okay, that's a total lie but I did hear from a few people that I was pretty much a nutbasket if I didn't mind posting the booger piece or the communist bit but was worried about this one. Also, the idea that this place sometimes feels like the bowels of hell occasionally leaves something to be desired? Apparently not news to anyone. So, here is the post with a little disclaimer, just in case. If Osan delights your every sense and/or you are easily swayed by booger-laden subversives, proceed at your own peril:

Osan is a waiting place, a parking spot on the way to somewhere else. We are always waiting, all of us:

Waiting for yellow slips that tell us a package has arrived.

Waiting for the window to open so we can retrieve the package.

Waiting for Monday to be over so the commissary is open and we can buy the milk or toilet paper we desperately need.

Waiting for it to warm up so we can go outside.

Waiting for the yellow sand readings to go down so we can go outside.

Waiting for the exercise to be over so we can go to the doctor.

But most of all, we are waiting to hear what the next assignment is. PCS season is coming up soon. PCS stands for Permanent Change of Station, for those of you non-military readers. 'Permanent' being used rather loosely, of course, and only serving to distinguish the type of move from a temporary one, as in TDY, or Temporary Duty. Most military moves take place in the summer. Assignments are short here, a year or two mostly, and so each summer at least half of the folks here PCS.

Unfortunately, the military, in my experience, has not been super great about timely notification on upcoming moves. When we came to Osan, Lloyd had to be here on October 1st. He didn't have his orders until August 15th. Is six weeks enough time to plan a move, particularly an overseas one? I don't really think so. We thought we knew where we were going before the orders arrived, but you don't dare make a move without orders, because they can and do change up to and including the very last second.

And so, we wait. And our perspective changes. I used to think Altus AFB in Altus, Oklahoma was my worst nightmare. But oh, how I wish I was in Altus, Oklahoma right now. The available assignments look better and better. Minot, ND? Outstanding! Del Rio, Texas? Yee Haw, baby! It's like beer goggles, only Osan goggles! If you are unfamiliar with beer goggles, you can click the link for the Wikpedia page. Also, you might want to reconsider reading this blog. I think there is a direct correlation: each month at Osan is equivalent to one beer, so by the time your twelve or twenty-four month assignment is up you've had so much that you'll go home to anywhere.

We wait.


Helen, Robert, Jack, and Emma said...

Can I drink all my beers in one night?

Anna Jane said...

I have to admit, all of what you say is true. So why the heck have I had such a fabulous time here?! Does misery love company and since we're all "miserable", we just wallow in it?

Even with my beer goggles, Del Rio still looks unsavory enough to avoid going home to...wait, we haven't gotten our orders yet, I shouldn't say anything about anyplace that could very well end up a possibilty.

Helen, Robert, Jack, and Emma said...

So weird. That's how I feel. I think the women here are fabulous. It's the job that sucks. I was just telling someone else the exact same thing. This place is so strange like that.

The Martin Family said...

Ah yes, the place does indeed.... stink (including the Korea smell). After my 32 months there, I am very hopeful to never ever return. All of you women though made such a difference. Once I met all of you, it didn't seem quite as bad. I miss you all!